Jan 7, 2023;  Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) reacts after giving up a fumble for a touchdown to Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) during the fourth quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Agent: QB Josh Dobbs signs with Browns

Quarterback Josh Dobbs signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Browns, his agent Mike McCartney said on social media Monday.

Dobbs, who has bounced around the NFL since 2018, will be a prime candidate to be the backup quarterback in Cleveland behind Deshaun Watson.

Dobbs, now 28, signed with the Cleveland Browns in April 2022 on a one-year, $1 million deal, but he was waived in November without having played a game for the team once Watson returned from a 11-game suspension.

In December 2022, with Ryan Tannehill injured, the Tennessee Titans signed Dobbs off the Detroit Lions’ practice squad and had him start the final two games of the season — the first two starts of Dobbs’ NFL career. Dobbs went 40-for-68 passing for 411 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in those games.

After being drafted in the fourth round in 2017 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dobbs saw action in five games in 2018 and one in 2020. Pittsburgh traded him to the Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of the 2019 season and claimed him off waivers from Jacksonville before 2020.

Kellen Mond is the only other quarterback on the Browns’ roster behind Watson.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins (88) catches a touchdown pass while Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney McLeod Jr. (26) defends in the third quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

TE Jordan Akins signs with Browns, reunites with Deshaun Watson

Jordan Akins signed a contract with the Browns on Saturday, reuniting the tight end with former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in Cleveland.

The Browns did not announce the terms of the deal, however Akins’ agent, David Canter, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that it was a two-year deal worth up to $5.2 million.

Akins, 30, spent the first three seasons (2018-20) of his NFL career with Watson. He had 90 catches for 1,046 yards and three touchdowns in 45 games (20 starts) in that span.

Akins recorded career-best totals in receptions (37), receiving yards (495) and touchdowns (five) in 15 games (three starts) last season.

He has totaled 151 receptions for 1,755 yards and eight touchdowns in 73 career games (26 starts) since being selected by the Texans in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (94) pressures Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) causing a fumble during their football at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Wm. Glasheen-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Browns land DT Dalvin Tomlinson, DE Ogbo Okoronkwo

The Cleveland Browns beefed up their defensive line on Monday, agreeing to free agent deals with defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and edge rusher Ogbo Okoronkwo, according to multiple media reports.

Tomlinson reportedly will receive a four-year, $57 million contract that features $27.5 million guaranteed. Okoronkwo reportedly will get a three-year, $19 million pact that could be worth as much as $22 million.

Tomlinson, 29, spent the past two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, finishing with 2.5 sacks in each campaign. Last season, he had 42 tackles (three for loss), one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 13 games, all starts.

A second-round pick of the Giants in 2017, he spent four seasons in New York before joining the Vikings. In 93 career games, all starts, he has 13 sacks, 288 tackles (26 for loss), two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Okoronkwo, 27, played for the Houston Texans in 2022 following three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2018 draft.

After logging just 4.5 sacks in 33 games, no starts, for Los Angeles, Okoronkwo had five sacks in 17 games (eight starts) for Houston. For his career, he has 78 tackles (14 for loss), three forced fumbles and three passes defensed.

–Field Level Media

Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett under center Ethan Pocic during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in Cleveland.

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Reports: Browns re-sign OL Ethan Pocic to 3-year deal

The Cleveland Browns re-signed center Ethan Pocic to a three-year deal on Monday, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Financial terms were not reported. Pocic was expected to be heavily coveted in the free-agent market.

Pocic, 27, signed a one-year, free-agent deal with the Browns in March 2022 to back up Nick Harris. But Harris blew out his knee in the 2022 preseason opener and was lost for the season, opening the door for Pocic, who thrived.

Pocic graded out fifth in the league in pass blocking and fourth in run blocking among centers, according to ESPN.

Pocic started 13 games, spending four games on injured reserve due to a knee injury.

Pocic has played in 70 games (53 starts) for the Seattle Seahawks (2017-21) and Browns since being selected in the second round of the 2017 draft.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws a practice pass as head coach Kevin Stefanski (right) watches before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Browns restructure Deshaun Watson’s contract, clear $36M cap space

Deshaun Watson agreed to convert his $46 million base salary into a partial bonus, clearing $36 million under the 2023 salary cap for the Cleveland Browns, per multiple reports.

The modification was expected following general manager Andrew Berry’s suggestion the accounting tactic was “on the table” for the Browns, who are navigating the atypical fully guaranteed contract Watson signed in 2022.

By moving the quarterback’s salary to bonus and spreading the cap hit over the final four years of a five-year, $230 million deal, the Browns increased Watson’s cap hit to $64 million each of the next three years.

The NFL suspended Watson for the first 11 games of the 2022 season and fined him $5 million for off-field personal conduct violations related to accusations from more than two dozen female massage therapists who said he committed sexual misconduct. He was scheduled to have a cap hit of more than $54 million.

The highest salary cap charge in the history of the NFL for a single season to date is $39 million.

–Field Level Media

Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett scrambles to get away from New York Jets lineman Jacob Martin on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022 in Cleveland.

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Jets-Browns to play in Hall of Fame game

The New York Jets and Cleveland Browns will play in the 2023 Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 3.

The teams combine for three former players to be inducted into the HOF two days later – offensive tackle Joe Thomas of the Browns, and defensive lineman Joe Klecko and cornerback Darrelle Revis of the Jets.

It’ll be the first HOF game for the Browns since 1999 and their sixth overall.

The appearance will be the third for the Jets.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) in the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Browns GM: Restructuring QB Deshaun Watson’s contract ‘on the table’

One year after Deshaun Watson signed a fully guaranteed $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, the franchise is looking to restructure the deal to create much-needed salary cap space.

Watson’s cap charge for the next four seasons is a record $54,993,000, and general manager Andrew Berry said restructuring the contract is an option.

“It could be on the table,” Berry said, “But there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of what we can do.”

Watson is scheduled for a base salary of $46 million and is charged $8.993 million for his signing bonus.

Cleveland is projected to be $14.373 million over the 2023 salary cap as of Tuesday.

The highest salary cap charge in the history of the NFL for a single season to date was $39 million.

NFL teams have until March 15 to align their finances and be compliant with the 2023 salary cap of $224.8 million.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Connor Heyward (83) makes a catch against Cleveland Browns cornerback A.J. Green (rear) and safety John Johnson III (43) during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Pittsburgh won 28-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Browns to release S John Johnson III

Browns safety John Johnson III will be released by Cleveland before the final year of his three-year contract, per reports.

Johnson signed a $33.75 million deal with the Browns in 2021 and had 162 tackles with four interceptions in his first two seasons in Cleveland.

His base salary was scheduled to more than double from 2022 to ’23, from $4 million to $8.75 million.

The 27-year-old was a third-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and had two of his three career 100-tackle seasons with his original NFL team.

The Browns anticipate a shift in personnel to accommodate the style of play preferred by new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Johnson started all 17 games last season with 101 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception.

–Field Level Media

Indianapolis Colts Special Teams Coordinator Bubba Ventrone talks on the sideline Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, before a game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Reports: Browns hiring Bubba Ventrone as ST coordinator

The Cleveland Browns are finalizing a deal to make Bubba Ventrone their new special teams coordinator, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The Indianapolis Star reported he’d also be the Browns’ assistant head coach.

Ventrone, 40, was linked to the Browns almost immediately after the team fired Mike Priefer on Tuesday.

Ventrone has been the special teams coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts the past five seasons.

Ventrone was a special teams standout for the Browns from 2009-12 during an eight-year career that also had stops with the New England Patriots (2007-08) and San Francisco 49ers (2013-14).

Ventrone was an assistant special teams coach with the Patriots from 2015-17 before becoming the coordinator in Indianapolis in 2018.

Priefer was hired by former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens in 2019 and then retained by current head coach Kevin Stefanski.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Cleveland Browns special teams coach Mike Priefer on the sidelines in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Browns fire special teams coordinator Mike Priefer

The Cleveland Browns parted ways with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer after four seasons on Tuesday.

Multiple reports said the Browns have requested interviews with special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone of the Indianapolis Colts and special teams assistant Anthony Blevins of the New York Giants.

Priefer, 56, is a Cleveland native who was hired by coach Freddie Kitchens in 2019 and then retained by Kevin Stefanski.

After Stefanski tested positive for COVID-19, Priefer was the acting head coach for the Browns’ 48-37 wild-card win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 10, 2021.

“I appreciate everything Prief has done for this team in his three seasons as my special teams coordinator, but I have decided to move in another direction in the best interest of our organization,” Stefanski said. “I know this city will forever be grateful for the job he did as acting head coach in our AFC Wildcard win and for all his contributions while leading the Browns’ special teams’ units for the last four seasons. We wish Prief the best with his next opportunity.”

Priefer has also been the special teams coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings (2011-18), Denver Broncos (2009-10) and Kansas City Chiefs (2006-08).

Ventrone, 40, was a special teams standout for the Browns from 2009-12 during an eight-year career that included stops with the New England Patriots (2007-08) and San Francisco 49ers (2013-14).

Ventrone was an assistant special teams coach with the Patriots from 2015-17 before becoming the coordinator in Indianapolis in 2018.

Blevins, 46, has been with the Giants since 2018. He also worked on the special teams staff for the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-17.

–Field Level Media