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Slow-playing free agency can send a fan base into panic mode but the Cleveland Browns did well enough to be a winner despite early concerns. Cleveland was able to retain receiver Rashard Higgins for depth, and then beef up their defense. Edge-rusher Takkarist McKinley, cornerback Troy Hill and safety John Johnson III fill three massive needs at reasonable costs for each. 

Johnson and Hill were especially great values considering the need for both positions across the league. Cleveland enters the second wave of free agency and the draft with the ability to look for the best player available. Adding to the defensive front with either an edge-rusher or tackle makes perfect sense.

The lone loss for Cleveland was Larry Ogunjobi, who defected to Cincinnati. But Cleveland will take solace looking at how the Bengals signed lesser external free agents (Trey Hendrickson and Chidobe Awuzie) than the guys they had in house (Lawson and William Jackson). Pittsburgh retained JuJu Smith-Schuster and Baltimore added Kevin Zeitler, but the Browns shouldn’t be scared of any of their competition next season.