The Cleveland Browns have one of the smaller groups of players set to be free agents in 2022. The biggest issue for the Browns will be on the defensive side of the ball, with several starters potentially hitting free agency. With one of the better cap situations in the NFL, Cleveland will have every opportunity to improve their roster for 2022.
Cleveland Browns free agents in 2022
Following the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season, the Browns have 20 players with expiring contracts. 11 of them will be unrestricted free agents, four are exclusive rights free agents, and five are restricted free agents.
All players are unrestricted free agents unless stated.
- Jadeveon Clowney | DE
- Chris Hubbard | OT
- Takkarist McKinley | DE
- Malik Jackson | DT
- Anthony Walker | LB
- David Nook | TE
- Rashard Higgins | WR
- M.J. Stewart | CB
- Malcolm Smith | LB
- Dustin Colquitt | P
- Ifeadi Odenigbo | DE (RFA)
- Montrel Meander | S (RFA)
- Stephen Carlson | TE (RFA)
- Ronnie Harrison | S
- Hjalte Forholdt | G (ERFA)
- Chase McLaughlin | K (RFA)
- Michael Dunn | OT (ERFA)
- Blake Hance | OT (ERFA)
- Malik McDowell | DT (ERFA)
- D’Ernest Johnson | RB (RFA)
Top Browns offensive free agents
The Browns’ main free agents on offense come from the non-skill positions. Let’s take a look at the most prominent free agents on offense.
Chris Hubbard | OL
Chris Hubbard has been with the Browns for three seasons since leaving Pittsburgh. He’s been a solid presence on the offensive line and is kind of the Browns’ on-field offensive line captain.
Hubbard’s 2021 season was cut short after one game due to a triceps injury that required surgery. At 31 years old, there will definitely be a market for Hubbard’s services. The Browns will likely discuss extending him. With $24 million in cap space according to Spotrac, they can afford it. With that said, Hubbard is no guarantee to return to the Browns. He should be able to start wherever he ends up, though.
Top Browns defensive free agents
The Browns have several quality defenders set to be free agents. They would do well to bring back as many of these guys as they can.
Jadeveon Clowney | DE
Easily the biggest free agent on the Browns is Jadeveon Clowney. He will also be the most difficult to re-sign. Clowney has played for a different team each of the past four seasons. He very well may make it five if the Browns don’t open up the checkbook.
At 29 years old and coming off his best season since 2018, Clowney understandably wants to get paid. He indicated he’s enjoyed playing in Cleveland. He is undeniably open to a return — but only if the price is right. Expect Clowney to sign with the highest bidder.
Takkarist McKinley | DE
After four years in Atlanta, Takkarist McKinley left the Falcons to sign a one-year prove-it deal with the Browns in 2021. Unfortunately, it was another season mired by injury as he played in just 11 games.
McKinley remains an effective pass rusher and a solid defensive piece. Given his bouts with injury the past two seasons, he may have to settle for another one-year deal. Perhaps McKinley can get two years if he wants. The Browns should look to bring back the 26-year-old and see if he can turn things around in 2022.
Anthony Walker | LB
One of the more underrated pieces of the Browns’ defense was Anthony Walker. The 26-year-old linebacker recorded over 100 tackles and was quality in pass coverage.
Walker made just $3 million in 2021. The Browns would be well-served to extend him as a useful rotational linebacker who can start if needed.