The Browns could have one of their top free agents signed and ready to sack Ben Roethlisberger by the end of the day.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the Browns are close to a deal with Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger. Kruger had nine sacks in the 2012 regular season and 4.5 more in the playoffs.

Free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. today. Teams and agents were allowed to start negotiating at midnight Friday, but no deal can be announced until four o’clock.

The Browns have had precious little success against Roethlisberger, the granite-legged Steelers quarterback they’ve beaten only once since 2004. Kruger could change that, although anyone thinking the Browns are trying to lock the next Lawrence Taylor should note Kruger started only five games in 2012 and prior to his breakout season had only one start at 6.5 sacks from 2009-2011.

Kruger lined up on the left side in Baltimore. Jabaal Sheard, the Browns left defensive end in 2011 (8.5) and 2012 (seven), led the team in sacks both years.

The Browns could also move quickly on a tight end. They have been talking with Drew Pittman, the agent for Titans tight end Jared Cook, and Andrew Simon, the agent for Raiders tight end Brandon Myers. Myers led the Raiders with 79 catches last season. Cook caught 44 passes with the Titans.