Browns Rumors: Tyrell Williams of 'Strong Interest' to Cleveland in Free Agency

Megan ArmstrongContributor IIMarch 8, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) celebrates as he scores a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against Tennessee Titans at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns seem to be on the tips of everyone's tongues as the new NFL year opens March 13, and wide receiver Tyrell Williams is their latest reported target.

According to Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot, he will "'be of strong interest' to the Browns once the legal tampering period begins on Monday."

Williams is an unrestricted free agent and has said he views himself as a No. 1 receiver, per ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams. The 27-year-old could fulfill that prophecy in Cleveland.

Williams' best season came in 2016, when Los Angeles Chargers No. 1 receiver Keenan Allen missed 15 games with a torn ACL. In his place, Williams posted 69 catches for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns.

Cleveland does not have a clear top receiver next to Jarvis Landry and could lose a member of its corp.

"The Browns could be interested in Williams, in part, because they haven't been able to strike a deal with former first-round pick Breshad Perriman, who's set to become an unrestricted free agent on [March 13]," Cabot reported.

Spotrac estimated Williams' free-agent market value at three years and close to $29 million, ranking 23rd among wide receivers. However, Matt Verderame of FanSided reported multiple people within the NFL have told him Williams is set to draw the largest contract of any wide receiver this offseason.

The Browns' link to Williams comes on the heels of speculation that Cleveland is trying to finesse a trade with the New York Giants for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Cabot wrote that "a deal between the Browns and Giants doesn't appear imminent, and at least one source close to the situation doesn't see it happening."

The trade market for Beckham and Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown will likely set the tone for where free-agent receivers land. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora noted Wednesday that the Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders are in "strong pursuit" of Williams, and he also named the Raiders as front-runners for Brown.

CBS Sports Network @CBSSportsNet

"I think you have to place the Raiders as the front runner." @JasonLaCanfora breaks down the most likely trade scenarios for Antonio Brown with @AdamSchein. #T2S https://t.co/SINMQeYwIF

General manager John Dorsey already made a risky move this offseason by signing running back Kareem Hunt, who the Kansas City Chiefs cut after TMZ released a video that showed him shoving and kicking a woman.

Dorsey and the Browns may be better suited laying low and letting other teams pay an exorbitant amount for the likes of Beckham and Brown, instead setting their sights on a relatively cheaper pursuit of Williams.