Free Agents for Hire: Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are in playoff position with just two weeks remaining. But what impact will free agency have on them in 2008? And what players will be available for other NFL clubs to bid on in hopes of adding them to their roster instead? Scout.com's Ed Thompson has the details inside...

Derek Anderson, Starting QB
Restricted Free Agent
6'6, 230 pounds

Currently ranked 9th in the NFL in passing yards (3,384). His 26 touchdown passes 21 passes of 25-plus yards is good enough to put him in a tie for fifth in both categories. He'll be the Browns top priority this offseason, but expect him draw plenty of interest.

Jamal Lewis, Starting RB
Unrestricted Free Agent
5'11, 245 pounds

Averaging 4.3 yards per carry, Lewis has 1,084 yards on the ground with two games remaining. He's just 149 yards from finishing in the top ten all-time in rushing for Cleveland. In addition to holding onto Anderson, keeping Lewis or a comparable talent through free agency or the draft will be essential.

Ethan Kelley, Starting NT
Unrestricted Free Agent
6'2, 338 pounds

Kelly has played capably in 12 games, including six starts with 24 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. After starting camp third on the depth chart, he's been a pleasant surprise and should draw some interest.

Other Restricted Free Agents

CB Daven Holly
- In 13 games this year, he has 6 starts. He's made 43 tackles, defended 8 passes and recovered a fumble. Holly was a 12-game starter in 2006 and is worth trying to hold onto. He was originally a 7th-round pick by the 49ers.

DE Simon Fraser - A reserve with just six NFL starts in three seasons, Fraser has one start, 13 tackles and one fumble recovery this year. He was an undrafted free agent signed by Cleveland.

LB Kris Griffin - Griffin was placed on injured/reserve due to a knee injury suffered during Week 13 action. After signing as an undrafted free agent and spending his first two seasons in Kansas City, he played in 12 games this year for the Browns. While Griffin has just four career tackles on defense, he is an asset on special teams, making 11 tackles this season. 

Other Unrestricted Free Agents

OL Seth McKinney - After signing a one-year deal with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent, McKinney started eight games before a shoulder injury ended his season. Although he started 29 games for the Dolphins during the 2004 through 2005 seasons, he finished 2005 on injured reserve due to a knee injury. And then he missed the entire season in 2006 with a neck injury that required surgery. Teams may have a tough time deciding if his starting experience &mdash when he's healthy — is worth the risk of adding a three-time injured reserve player.

DT Ted Washington - The 16-year veteran was placed on injured reserve at the end of October with a knee injury. With just one start out of five game appearances up to that point, it's questionable as to whether or not he'll attempt a 17th season.

CB Gary Baxter - The sixth-year veteran went on injured reserve back in October with a knee injury. After starting 46 games for the Ravens during his first four years in the league, Baxter has just 8 starts in two seasons with the Browns. He's posted three interceptsion, 6 passes defensed and one forced fumble since arriving in Cleveland.

LB Matt Stewart - A former starter with Atlanta, Stewart is another player gradually slipping into a backup role while in Cleveland. A 12-game starter at both left inside and left outside linebacker in 2005, he got a combined total of four starts at right outside linebacker and left outside linebacker in 2006. His 2007 season ended in August when he was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

LB Chaun Thompson - The Browns' second-round pick in 2003 is now serving as a backup at right outside linebacker behind Kamerion Wimbley. He started 28 games during the span of the 2004 and 2005 seasons and even logged five sacks in 2005, but he's been a reserve in all but two games since.

WR Tim Carter - After five seasons with the Giants, Carter was primarily a depth player, but he did get to start in eight games in 2006 and made 22 catches. While he's appeared in 14 games for the Browns, he has just seven catches this year.

OL Lennie Friedman - The second-string guard was originally a second-round pick in the 1999 draft by the Broncos. After 22 starts in his first two seasons, he's been a perennial backup since with just 10 starts over the last eight years.

CB Ricardo Colclough -  Acquired off the waiver wire from Pittsburgh at the end of October, Colclough has never started on defense, but he was a respectable kickoff return specialist, averaging over 21 yards per return during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

OL Nat Dorsey - A fourth-round pick by the Vikings in 2004, Dorsey has spent his other three NFL seasons in Cleveland. Since joining the Browns, he has just two starts and is currently listed as the backup to rookie left tackle Joe Thomas.

LB Keith Adams - The veteran inside linebacker got 16 of his 23 career starts in 2005 with Philadelphia, but has primarily been a reserve and special teams player since entering the league in 2001. He's signed with five other clubs during that stretch before being added to the Browns roster this month.

S Nick Sorensen - A midseason addition to the roster after being cut by the Jaguars, Sorensen has landed on the injured reserve list late in each of the past two seasons. An undrafted free agent, Sorensen spent his first two seasons with the Rams and then four with the Jaguars. Strictly a special teams contributor, he's never started in his career and has just four tackles on defense.

QB Ken Dorsey - Cut at the end of training camp, Dorsey got a reprieve and was signed 10 days later after the Browns shipped Charlie Frye to Seattle. A 3rd-string quarterback, he'll just be glad to get another one-year offer from the Browns or another team.


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