#Raiders DT Desmond Bryant is going to sign with Cleveland. Best DT on the market.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2013
Mike Garafolo of USA Today tweeted out the details of the contract:
Five years, $34 million with $15 million guaranteed for Desmond Bryant with Cleveland.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 13, 2013
Bryant, as you may remember, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief on Feb. 24 (h/t the San Francisco Chronicle). He is accused of drunkenly causing a commotion in a neighbor's house in Miami. His ensuing mugshot made for hilarity across the Internet (h/t USA Today).
Was this a smart signing by the Browns?
If you can find a way to erase Bryant's mugshot from your memory bank, he's actually a very solid signing for the Browns.
He was rated as the sixth-best defensive tackle in the NFL by ProFootballFocus.com in 2012 (per PFF's Day 1 free agency blog), finishing with 36 tackles, one forced fumble and three sacks. He should fit in nicely to Cleveland's new 3-4 defensive scheme.
The news came after the Browns made headlines by signing former Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger to a five-year, $40 million deal on Tuesday (h/t ESPN). Kruger finished with nine sacks last season during Baltimore's title run, but he struggled defending the run throughout 2012.
Cleveland finished 5-11 in 2012 and finished last in the AFC North for the second year in a row. Its defense finished 25th against the pass (245 yards per game allowed) and 19th against the run (119 yards per game allowed).
The Browns came into Day 1 of free agency with a lot of cap space and wasted little time spending that money. We'll see if the moves pay off for a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since the 2002 season and has only made the postseason once in the past 18 years.
The Browns also own the No. 6 overall and six additional picks in the 2013 NFL draft.