cleveland: The 2022 nfl free agency period is upon us, which means some new faces will be joining the cleveland browns this week, and some familiar faces will be leaving.
We will keep you updated on all the news from the “legal handling” window from Monday noon until 4 p.m. Wednesday, as well as all the official signings, trades, departures and news related to free agency.
Reading: Browns free agents 2021 targets
brown free agents:
- jadeveon clown | by
- takkarist mckinley | by
- rashard higgins | wr (signed by panthers)
- m.j. stewart | cb (signed by texans)
- malcolm smith | lb
- dustin colquitt | p
- elijah lee | lb
- andy janovich | fb
- ryan switzerland | wr
- nick mullens| qb
- ronnie harrison | s
- ifeadi odenigbo | of (rfa)
- Montrel Meander | s (rfa)
- stephen carlson | te (rfa)
- hjalte forholdt | g (erfa)
- chase mclaughlin | k (rfa)
- goalkeeper gustin| by (rfa)
- malik mcdowell | dt (erfa)
will baker mayfield stay or go? after the cleveland browns pursued a trade for houston texans quarterback deshaun watson, quarterback baker mayfield requested a trade to the team. The Browns, however, do not plan to honor that request, a league source confirmed to News 5.
related: browns qb baker mayfield requests trade, team rejects request
takk mckinley focuses on healthbrowns defensive end takkarist mckinley will focus on his recovery from an achilles tendon injury before making a decision on where he will sign, they said sources of the link to news 5.
the browns may be interested in re-signing mckinley and bringing him back, but no deal has been struck. Mckinley is said to be considering making a decision about signing, with Cleveland or elsewhere, as he continues to focus on his health. the decision may further the recovery, the sources said.
related: defensive end takk mckinley focuses on health before making a decision about the future
not deshaun watsonafter exploring his options at quarterback, meeting with texans deshaun watson earlier in the week, the browns were informed they were out of the running and would not acquire him in an exchange.
It’s still unclear where he leaves the position at this point, either facing a mending relationship with Baker Mayfield or continuing to explore his options elsewhere.
related: stop running to acquire texans quarterback deshaun watson
no other offersafter bidding on three exclusive rights free agents (ja’marcus bradley, michael dunn and blake hance) earlier in the week and placing a preemptive bid on d ‘ernest johnson, the team has finalized its plans to offer any other player, a league source confirmed to news 5.
Restricted free agents and listed exclusive rights free agents will take on the market and may end up on a new team in the 2022 season.
chris hubbard wears brown and orange againthe browns re-sign versatile offensive lineman chris hubbard to a one-year deal.
hubbard has been a crucial player for the browns, covering the offensive line and serving as a reliable next man. Last season, Hubbard played in only one game before suffering a triceps injury. he underwent surgery to repair the injury and missed the remainder of the season. His absence was felt as other linemen suffered injuries and Covid-19 throughout the season, and the Browns struggled to successfully fill their void with Hubbard sidelined.
His return is a major key to depth when it comes to protecting the quarterback, whoever he is this season.
austin hooper releasethe browns have released tight end austin hooper. the measure saves the browns $9.5 million against the cap.
The Browns signed Hooper in 2020 as he came off his best season with the Atlanta Falcons, catching 75 passes for 787 yards and six touchdowns.
Last season with the Browns was lackluster for the value of Hooper’s contract, seeing him finish with just 38 receptions for 345 yards and three touchdowns. The Browns TE1 was edged out by David Njoku, who won a franchise tag earlier in the week as the team works to agree to a long-term deal with him.
Hooper’s post-June 1 release saves $9.5 million in salary cap savings for the Browns this year, bringing the $7.5 million salary cap up through 2023 with 3, $75 in dead money this year.
The team made the move official on Thursday.
anthony walker re-signsthe cleveland browns are re-signing veteran linebacker anthony walker to a one-year, $5 million deal.
Walker was signed by the Browns as an unrestricted free agent on March 19, 2021.
Last season, Walker played in 13 games and missed time on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. In the 13 games he played, Walker recorded 103 tackles (59 solo) with one sack and two passes defensed.
Jakeem Grant to ClevelandThe Browns are signing pro-bowl return specialist/wide receiver Jakeem Grant to a three-year deal.
was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 nfl draft by the miami dolphins. he recently played for the chicago bears. In his career, he has four punt returns for touchdowns and two kickoff returns for touchdowns and made the pro bowl last season as a returner.
jc tretter says goodbyethe cleveland browns are throwing center jc tretter. The move frees up about $8.2 million in cap space for the Browns.
Tretter joined the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in 2017. He helped the Browns lead the NFL in rushing average in 2021 with a 5.09 mark, the highest average by a Browns team since 1966.
“for the past five seasons, jc has been a pillar and an iron man at the center for us. he came into our organization at a time of instability and was one of the key veterans who helped turn the tide in recent years. he will miss his leadership, both in the locker room and on the field. We wish JC the best as he continues his career,” General Manager Andrew Berry said.
mack wilson tradedthe new england patriots are trading linebacker chase winovich to the browns for linebacker mack wilson. Wilson was selected by the Browns in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and started 28 games for the Browns. Winovich has played 45 games for the Pats, starting 9 and has 11 career sacks from him.
team tackles defensive tackle the cleveland browns signed defensive tackle taven bryan from the jacksonville jaguars to a one-year deal worth up to $5 million. Bryan was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the 29th overall pick.
related: cleveland browns sign defensive tackle taven bryan to one year
jarvis landry released
The Browns will release veteran wide receiver Jarvis Landry, a league source confirmed to News 5.
While the deal can’t be signed until Wednesday, the Browns have reached an agreement with the Dallas Cowboys to trade for wide receiver Amari Cooper. His addition prompted the Browns to allow Landry to seek a trade, but the team still hoped to work out a contract restructuring to keep him in Cleveland.
landry, who was in the final year of his contract with the browns after signing a five-year, $75.5 million deal with cleveland, had the option of being released and saving the team $14.8 million against the salary cap with a dead $1.5 million cap.
despite releasing him, the team made it very clear that they respect landry and all his contributions since he arrived in cleveland in 2018, and throughout the process they wanted him to remain a cleveland brown. Unfortunately, that is the nature of business and those hopes could not be realized.
related: browns release veteran wide receiver jarvis landry
d’ernest johnson offered sources confirmed to news 5 on friday that the team plans to offer running back d’ernest johnson, who is a restricted free agent this year.
The offer to Johnson will be a pre-emptive offer, giving the Browns the option to match any other team’s offer sheet, with no draft compensation attached to the offer. the offer the browns plan to use is worth about $2.5 million.
related: browns to tender runner d’ernest johnson
franchise tagged david njoku, others offered after expressing a desire to remain in cleveland, the browns acquiesced and placed a franchise tag on tight end david njoku, keeping him orange and brown while the Njoku’s organization and representation continues to speak of a long-term agreement.
by placing a franchise tag on him, njoku is protected from the unrestricted free agency market. the move to place the non-exclusive franchise tag on njoku will cost the browns about $10.8 million.
On the same day, the team also introduced wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley, guard Michael Dunn and offensive lineman Blake Hance.
related: browns place franchise tag on te david njoku, offer 3 exclusive rights free agents
andy janovich contract option declinedfullback andy janovich will not wear orange and brown this season as the team will decline his contract option, making him a free agent, a league source confirmed to news 5 last week.
The measure will remove about $1.5 million from the Browns’ cap this year.
related: browns to decline option on fb andy janovich’s contract, making him a free agent
jack conklin’s contract restructured right tackle jack conklin and the browns agreed to a contract restructuring in late February, freeing up $4 million in salary-cap space this year for the browns and giving the two-time all-pro tackle a guaranteed $8 million with $4 million in playing time incentives under the terms of his new contract.
Related: Browns restructure RT Jack Conklin’s contract into mutually beneficial deal
Check back here during the week for updates.
related:in the nfl offseason, sometimes where there’s smoke, there may not be fire
camryn justice is a digital content producer at news 5 cleveland. follow her on twitter @camijustice.
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