The Cleveland Browns have attempted to replicate much that the Seattle Seahawks have done. This has included claiming players, including the injured Michael Bowie last year, off of their roster. It makes sense, the Seahawks have been to two straight Super Bowls and are one Marshawn Lynch run play away from being back to back champions.
With success comes big contract demands, and Seattle is happy to comply. In the last few days they have locked up the quarterback of both their offense and their defense. Their literal QB, Russel Wilson, got his big extension while LB Bobby Wagner got his the next day. With Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, among others, also inking big deals in the last year, Seattle has to be creative with their salary cap.
In order to sign Wagner to his deal, the Seahawks cut their starting DT in Tony McDaniel His replacement? A player the Browns gladly let leave this off-season: Ahtyba Rubin. McDaniel was Seattle's starter for most of the last two seasons and was only set to make $2.5 million this year. His age, 30 years old, explains why Seattle was willing to part ways with him but expect him to have a decent market now that he is a free agent.
According to NFL.com, McDaniel stands at 6'7" and 305 pounds. His size is attractive to both 4-3 and 3-4 teams. His experience on a championship level team will likely get him more attention than if he had been a part of a perennial loser. Last year he had 31 tackles, following up a career high 53 the year prior. His career best is 2.5 sacks, twice with the Miami Dolphins.
Like most interior defensive tackles, McDaniel doesn't put up huge numbers but has been productive. Unfortunately Pro Football Focus, who measures those non-box score numbers, also didn't give him high marks last year. PFF had him as a -11.8 overall with a -3.6 against the run and -5.2 against the pass. Juxtapose that with the previous year when he was graded at a 10.2 overall, 13.4 against the run and -3.2 against the pass.
So should the Browns have interest in bringing in the free agent defensive lineman? It will come down to two factors. First, the health of Billy Winn will be key. Winn was carted off the field yesterday in practice and could have a significant leg injury. Replacing him won't be easy but McDaniel could be a part of the solution. Second is price. Even though the Browns have tons of cap space, they are not in the habit of overpaying anyone. If McDaniel comes in at a reasonable 1 or 2 year deal, say around $3 million, GM Ray Farmer and HC Mike Pettine may have interest.
If not, based on his box score stats and PFF's rating, we see them passing. The Browns want to model after what Seattle has done, great defense and strong run game, but they won't just add a former Seahawk just to do so. If Winn is hurt for a long time and McDaniel's price is right, we could see another Seahawk turned Brown.
What do you think about the Browns pursuing Tony McDaniel?