It's every NFL fan's dream to see their struggling team make a huge splash on the free-agency market after a disappointing season, signing big-name stars and sending a message that they are committed to winning, at any cost.
Thanks to stringent salary-cap limitations in the league, most teams can't do that even if they want to. For most teams who are willing to spend, the cap generally prevents them from signing more than one or two top-flight free agents.
The Cleveland Browns are in a pretty good position, however, to make some noise on the open market. That is, if they even want to.
Cleveland is expected to be about $20 million under the cap when the signing period begins; by free-agency budget standards, that's better than most teams willing to pay out can do.
But unfortunately for those hoping the Browns will rush out and sign the flashiest, most expensive player on the market at positions where they need help, it seems unlikely that Cleveland will be going on a luxury-caliber spending spree.
The Browns do have enough money to make some significant purchases, of course, but the budget (and the will to spend it on one, big-name player) is not as big as it seems.
Some of that money will go to in-house free agents like D'Qwell Jackson and possibly Peyton Hillis, and the rest will likely go to a cast of B or C grade free agents brought in to round out many depth issues the Browns have rather than to completely obliterate the problem at any one particular spot by buying the best item on the market.
Certainly, it is possible that the Browns will commit to a much sought-after free agent, but more likely, they'll be looking at leaning a bit more toward quantity than quality this offseason.
That means the Cleveland front office will have to be a bit more creative in order to get the most out of its money. It's easy to throw a huge wad of cash at a proven star. What takes a talented football mind is addressing a number of problems for the team with less drastic solutions at multiple positions while staying within the strict budget.
The jury is still out on whether the current Cleveland front office is really any good at that, but we should have a better idea after we see what they do in free agency this offseason.
Following are five under-the-radar free agents the Browns might want to consider in order to address multiple roster issues on a limited budget. Be sure to add other under-the-radar free agents you think the Browns should take a look at in the comments below!