The Browns have a lot of salary cap space and a need at quarterback, and so they’re a logical choice to make a move for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, if Baltimore uses only the non-exclusive franchise tender on Flacco. But Flacco may not be the only AFC North player the Browns are considering.
Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com takes a look at the possibility that the Browns will “double dip,” which is what the former NFL executive Carmen Policy used to call a free-agent signing that helped your own team while carrying the simultaneous benefit of weakening an opponent. And it’s not just Flacco the Browns could be targeting off a division rival’s roster.
Ravens linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe could also be targets of the Browns, as could Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace and cornerback Keenan Lewis, or Bengals outside linebacker Manny Lawson and kicker Mike Nugent. If the Browns want to make a splash in free agency, grabbing a player from one of the three teams above them in the standings would make a lot of sense.
But it’s Flacco who would be a real game-changer. If he’s available, the Browns could turn the AFC North upside down by signing him to a contract the Ravens simply can’t afford to match.