This thread will act as a “live blog” of sorts, with brief but important updates about the latest rumors, signings, or trades involving Cleveland or other NFL teams. You should also use the comments section as your free agency open thread! (Newest updates will be at the top of the live blog below)
2021 Browns Free Agency Live Blog – Day 5
8 PM: The Browns are reportedly signing veteran defensive tackle Malik Jackson, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:
Malik Jackson is signing with the Browns, per source
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 19, 2021
The Philadelphia Eagles released Jackson earlier this week after Jackson re-worked his contract to allow for his release now, as opposed to after June 1, so he could get into free agency sooner.
Jackson spent the past two seasons with the Eagles after singing as a free agent in 2019. He suffered a Lisfranc injury in his first game with the Eagles, but came back in 2020 to play in 15 games, finishing with 28 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
3 PM: Things have been busy at Browns headquarters in Berea, as the club welcomed John Johnson III and Takkarist McKinley to the facility to sign their contracts:
The social media team has also been busy, Tweeting out a welcome message to linebacker Elijah Lee, wide receiver/kick returner JoJo Natson, kicker Cody Parkey and wide receiver Rashard Higgins.
1:28 PM: The Browns are adding another short-term piece at linebacker, signing former Colts LB Anthony Walker to a 1-year deal worth $3.5 million. Does this mean that LB B.J. Goodson won’t be back?
Former Colts’ LB Anthony Walker is signing a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Browns, per @DrewJRosenhaus.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2021
1:10 PM: The Cincinnati Bengals have released veteran defensive end Geno Atkins, according to Tyler Dragon from The Cincinnati Enquirer:
Atkins just turned 32 so he might be a bit on the old side, but the Browns need help at defensive tackle, and a short-term contract that keeps him in the AFC North with the opportunity to stick it to the Bengals twice a year might appeal to Atkins.
He is also still a productive player, as his PFF grades reveal:
11:10 AM: The details of cornerback Troy Hill’s contract are starting to come out and it appears that general manager Andrew Berry worked his magic as the deal reportedly has two voidable years on the end, making it essentially a two-year deal worth $9 million, with $4.5 million of that guaranteed, according to cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. Hill is expected to take on the slot corner role, which he is ideally suited for.
Update on former #Rams CB Troy Hill’s contract w/ the #Browns: It’s a 2-yr deal worth $9 million (2 voidable years), that can get to $10M. Includes $4.5M guaranteed. Replaces Kevin Johnson as the slot corner, but can start outside https://t.co/uvdYdGvnwv
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 19, 2021
10:40 AM: The Browns have re-signed K Cody Parkey to a 1-year deal. It wouldn’t be a surprise for the team to bring in a kicker to compete with Parkey later this offseason, but at least they have their guy from last year back under contract before another team snatched him up.
The #Browns are re-signing kicker Cody Parkey to a one-year deal, per source.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 19, 2021
9:10 AM: Good morning, Browns fans! It’s the third day since free agency officially started. We’re still waiting on the official cap numbers for some of our signings, so when those come in, I’ll be able to update the number on how much available cap space the team has.
One bit of Cleveland Browns news that happened last night is that, per his agency, the Browns have re-signed LB Elijah Lee. He joined Cleveland midseason last year off of waivers, and primarily played on special teams — but in the past, he’s shown some potential at linebacker with the 49ers.