The Browns will pursue two of the biggest-name pass-rushers in free agency in Baltimore's Paul Kruger and Detroit's Cliff Avril, league sources told The Plain Dealer.
They're also likely to go after Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant and Cardinals linebacker Quentin Groves, sources said.
Kruger, who helped the Ravens defeat San Francisco in the Super Bowl last month, will be one of the most sought-after pass-rushers on the market if the Ravens don't re-sign him by Tuesday. A second-round pick of the Ravens in 2009 out of Utah, Kruger (6-4, 270) had nine sacks in five starts at outside linebacker last season, and added 4.5 in the playoffs. Kruger could command as much as $9 million a year on the open market.
Avril, a defensive end, will also be a hot ticket come Tuesday. But the Browns might have the inside track, because their new defensive line coach Joe Cullen helped draft Avril, 26, in Detroit in 2008 and developed him as a rookie. That season, Avril led all rookies with six sacks and four forced fumbles.
Franchised by the Lions last season for almost $11 million a year, Avril, the former third-round pick out of Purdue, has averaged nearly 10 sacks a year over the past three seasons, including 9.5 in 2012 and 11 in 2011. Avril (6-3, 252) could play outside linebacker in Ray Horton's 3-4, multi-front scheme.
Browns will pursue Baltimore Ravens' Paul Kruger, Detroit Lions' Cliff Avril in free agency
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Mar 6