The 2021 NFL free-agency period is set to commence on March 17th. A few top players have already been released by their respective teams due to a cap space issue or demands from the player themselves.
J.J. Watt, one of the premier pass rushers and three-time NFL defensive player was let go by the Houston Texans after he asked for a release. The Cleveland Browns are among the teams that are pursuing Watt, with a view of partnering with his standout defensive end Myles Garrett.
Garrett, who sat out for a couple of games due to COVID-19 during the 2020 NFL season, was in the race for Defensive Player of the Year, but eventually missed out on the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald.
Having Garrett and Watt on the same defensive line for the Cleveland Browns will instantly bolster their defense. However, there is no shortage of suitors for Watt and the Browns should have a contingency plan in place if they miss out on the former Texan. And could that plan be Denver Broncos' Von Miller?
Could Von Miller be wearing orange and brown in the 2021 NFL season?
Von Miller has been one of the top rushing linebackers in the league. He won Super Bowl LV with the Denver Broncos and was named the Super Bowl MVP. At 31, Miller's time in the NFL could soon be coming to an end.
Miller is in the final year of his 6-year, $114 million contract with the Broncos that has a cap hit of just over $22 million in 2021. Given his age, recent injury, and contract situation, the Broncos would most certainly be unable to find a trade partner for Miller. And with the team still in rebuild mode, it would make little sense for the Broncos and Miller to stay together in 2021. The 31-year-old would ideally want a release so he could join a team that can compete for the Lombardi trophy in the upcoming NFL season.
The Cleveland Browns happen to be a team on the rise with a top offensive unit. They made it to the AFC Divisional Round, where they were narrowly edged out by the Kansas City Chiefs. Under rookie coach Kevin Stefanski, the Browns made tremendous progress last season and will be a force to be reckoned with in the 2021 NFL season.
While their offense is filled to the brim with talent, they do have a few glaring holes on defense, with pass rush being an area of concern. Browns general manager Andrew Berry will be looking to address that situation this offseason.
If the Browns do miss out on J.J. Watt, they could turn their attention to Von Miller. The 31-year-old will not only bring veteran experience to the locker room but will also add much need depth at linebacker and bring a winning mentality, something the Browns have lacked over the years.