Cleveland Browns whiff in free agency (already)

Cleveland Browns whiff in free agency (already)

BEREA, OH (WOIO) - The free agent deals are coming in, and while they can't be finalized until Thursday at 4 p.m., teams are moving fast.

So inquiring minds are already wondering -- what are the Browns going to do? Spend. And spend big. If they can.

The problem is, not everybody wants their money. A prime example is Tony Jefferson, the Arizona Cardinals strong safety who reportedly will turn down far more money from the Browns to -- wait for it -- sign with the Baltimore Ravens.

Then there's Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler, who could command up to $60 million over five years. The Browns should write him a check for a few reasons. First, Hue Jackson knows Zeitler well, from their Cincinnati days together. Second, the Browns need to fix the offensive line, and signing Zeitler for the right guard position, and getting Joel Bitonio back from injury at the left guard spot, certainly does that.

And third, the last time the Browns pried a free agent guard away from the Bengals -- ten years ago with Eric Steinbach -- it seemed to work out just fine.

Things will start coming into focus on Thursday, as deals become official, but one thing is already clear: this Browns regime is paying for the past sins of others. Playing for this franchise will be a tough sell. Even for a team that's more than $100 million under the cap and willing to spend.

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