Browns Rumors: Javon Hargrave, Yannick Ngakoue Among Free Agents on Cleveland's Radar

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMarch 9, 2023

Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave speaks during an NFL football Super Bowl team availability, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Phoenix. The Eagles will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 57 Sunday. (AP Photo/Matt York)
AP Photo/Matt York

The Cleveland Browns are looking to shore up their defense in free agency and have some big names on their radar, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

The list includes Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III, Indianapolis Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, Denver Broncos defensive lineman Dre'Mont Jones and Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

The Browns are coming off a disappointing 7-10 season in which they finished No. 18 in scoring and No. 20 in points allowed.

They need help on both sides of the ball but have some players who started multiple games set to enter free agency including Jadeveon Clowney, Deion Jones, Anthony Walker Jr., Taven Bryan, Ronnie Harrison and Sione Takitaki.

Some of those aforementioned free agents from other teams won't come cheap, though. ESPN's Adam Schefter said on 97.5 The Fanatic's John Kincade Show (h/t Adam Hermann of NBC Sports Philadelphia) that he projects Hargave to get $20 million per year and Gardner-Johnson to get $13 million.

Bates, who has been a stalwart on the Bengals defense for five years while amassing 479 tackles, should merit a big contract as well. He would love to play on the same team as Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, per Cabot.

Hargave is the biggest name of the bunch after notching a career-high 11 sacks in 2022. The 30-year-old is set to get paid, and he would be a great addition to a Browns defensive line that needs some reinforcements around star Myles Garrett.

Ultimately, Cleveland has some work to do to compete in a tough AFC North where every other team finished with a winning record.