Browns 2024 Free Agents: Will Cleveland Bring Back Joe Flacco or Kareem Hunt?

Deshaun Watson will be the starting QB in 2024, but will Cleveland find a way to retain Joe Flacco? Here's every Browns free agent headed for the market.

While the Cleveland Browns are currently $20 million over the salary cap, the team’s outlook will change quickly. Restructuring contracts for QB Deshaun Watson, WR Amari Cooper, and CB Denzel Ward is on Cleveland’s offseason agenda and will give the club room to work with this offseason.

Which pending free agents will general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski prioritize before the new NFL league year begins in mid-March? Let’s run through the Browns’ list of upcoming FAs.

Who Are the Cleveland Browns’ 2024 Free Agents?

QB Joe Flacco

Flacco was on his couch when the Browns — who’d just lost Watson to a season-ending injury — called in November. Named the starter in Week 13, Flacco ultimately went 4-1 as Cleveland’s starter during the regular season, passing for 1,616 yards, 13 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

While he turned 39 years old in January, Flacco reportedly hopes to play two more seasons in the NFL. However, with Watson’s fully guaranteed contract ensuring he’ll remain the Browns’ starting QB moving forward, Flacco is expected to move on, as The Athletic reported in February.

Flacco kept Cleveland’s offense on track, and the NFL’s dearth of competent quarterbacks ensures he’ll be able to land a backup job this offseason. Whether any team will allow Flacco to compete for a starting role remains an open question.

His ability to create chunk plays in the Browns’ offense was somewhat mitigated by his propensity to turn the ball over. Flacco’s 3.9% interception rate would have led the NFL if he’d posted enough attempts to qualify.

NFL clubs might be willing to accept that high-floor, low-ceiling combination in a QB2, but Flacco’s starting opportunities will likely be limited.

RB Kareem Hunt

Hunt’s time in Cleveland appeared over until fellow RB Nick Chubb suffered a gruesome, season-ending knee injury in Week 2. Hunt, who’d taken free agent visits with other clubs, jumped at the chance to re-sign with the Browns in September. He earned the league minimum in 2023, playing on a one-year deal that guaranteed him $500,000.

Hunt didn’t look explosive last season and will turn 29 years before the 2024 campaign begins. Berry has already suggested Cleveland wants to restructure Chubb’s contract for a return next year, while Jerome Ford outplayed Hunt in 2023 and could be part of a running-back-by-committee approach for the Browns.

Hunt said in January that he plans to test free agency, and one of the teams that expressed interest in him last year — the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, and New Orleans Saints — could look at him again this offseason.

EDGE Za’Darius Smith

In search of a complement for Myles Garrett, the Browns acquired Smith from the Vikings last May in a swap of multiple late-round picks. Smith played as part of a rotation along Cleveland’s defensive front, seeing action on 55% of the club’s snaps while finishing second to Garrett among Browns defenders in sacks (5.5) and pressures (61).

While the Browns may want Smith to return, they also have three free agent DTs to worry about. If Cleveland thinks it can get by with Ogbo Okoronkwo (who will be coming off a pectoral injury) and former third-round pick Alex Wright opposite Garrett, Smith could look elsewhere.

LB Anthony Walker Jr.

Signed to a one-year Browns contract in each of the last three seasons, Walker has had a lot of trouble staying healthy. A hamstring injury cost Walker four games in 2021, a torn quad limited him to just three contests in 2022, and he spent the end of the 2023 campaign on injured reserve after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

MORE: 2024 NFL Free Agent Rankings

An effective three-down player when available, Walker inked a league-minimum deal last year and will likely do the same thing this offseason. He did not make PFN’s list of the top 10 free agent linebackers available next month.

Other Browns 2024 Free Agents

  • QB Jeff Driskel
  • QB P.J. Walker
  • WR Marquise Goodwin
  • WR Jakeem Grant
  • WR James Proche
  • OT Geron Christian
  • OT Ty Nsekhe
  • G Michael Dunn
  • C Nick Harris
  • TE Harrison Bryant
  • DT Jordan Elliott
  • DT Shelby Harris
  • DT Maurice Hurst
  • LB Matthew Adams
  • LB Jordan Kunaszyk
  • LB Jacob Phillips
  • LB Sione Takitaki
  • CB Mike Ford
  • S Duron Harmon
  • S Rodney McLeod
  • P Corey Bojorquez

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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