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Going shopping

March 7, 2013 - Mike McLain
Part of the draft plans put together by NFL teams revolves around what actions, if any, each takes in free agency.

We'll begin to find out more about that next Tuesday when free agents can sign with new teams. Back-door negotiations have undoubtedly begun, which will lead to what is usually a run on signings in the first few hours of the open market.

This doesn't shape up as a strong market, which is bad news for the talent-needy Browns. No player stands out as someone that will provide a major upgrade at a position group. In other words, there is no Reggie White out there.

No one knows how the new regime under owner James Haslam will approach free agency. The previous regime maintained a cold-shoulder approach to the process.

The Browns won't have trouble finding money to spend. They are projected to be about $48 million below the cap, giving them the second most available dollars.

With a switch from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4, rush linebackers have become a need. The plum on the market is Baltimore's Paul Kruger, who plays the run well but can also drop into coverage. Don't be surprised if the Browns' one big move will be to court Kruger and possibly weaken a division rival (the Ravens) that won the Super Bowl.

There's been speculation that Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace might be on the Browns' radar, but that appears unlikely. A cheaper option would be Danny Amendola of the the Rams. Amendola isn't nearly as fast as Wallace, but he's a better possession receiver. That's exactly what quarterback Brandon Weeden needs.


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