PFF gives Browns free agency a positive grade but tied for worst in the AFC North

NFL free agency was good, not great for the Browns

We all know grades don’t matter outside of school and even those aren’t that important overall. (Kids, grades are really important so ignore that last part and study hard.)

Sports grades are always really interesting in that it all depends on what preconceived notions were brought into the grading process. NFL draft grades depend on the big board created prior. NFL free agency grades depend on whether you value talent, fit or contract the most.

For the Cleveland Browns, the 2024 offseason was mostly about retaining the players that helped lead to an 11-win 2023 season. Jerry Jeudy was acquired in a trade, Jameis Winston replaced Joe Flacco and a few other one-year deals for veterans were signed.

Pro Football Focus has come out with their grades for free agency so far. While the Browns were given a “B,” they are also tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the worst grade in the AFC North. A few moves were noted by PFF for Cleveland besides Jeudy including bringing back Za’Darius Smith and bringing in Jordan Hicks at linebacker:

Smith was still a handful for opposing offensive lines in 2023 and is a perfect fit as a movable chess piece for Jim Schwartz’s defense, making it very understandable he was a priority to re-sign. Don’t let the dip in sack production fool you: Smith is still a menace up front.

Hicks reunites with Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and is a perfect veteran pairing alongside Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

The lowest grade given out went to the Arizona Cardinals with a “C” with a few teams receiving a “C+” grade. The scale of grades, from “A” to “C” puts Cleveland right in the middle with a positive but not great grade.

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