Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport are reporting that the Browns have a “legit shot” at signing free agent S Tony Jefferson and are offering him the most money by far. However, the Ravens remain in the picture for him as well.
- Mary Kay Cabot reports that the Browns have also expressed interest in G Kevin Zeitler.
- Cabot adds that other players on the Browns’ radar include S Johnathan Cyprien and CB A.J. Bouye.
Previous reports have said that Jefferson could get as much as $10 million per year in a long-term deal. The Jets have also come up as a potential suitor for Jefferson.
Jefferson, 25, wound up signing on with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma back in 2013. He returned to the Cardinals on a one-year, $1.671 million restricted tender last April.
He’s now in a position to test the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
In 2016, Jefferson appeared in 15 games for the Cardinals and recorded 96 tackles, two sacks, two recoveries, two forced fumbles and five pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 5 safety out of 89 qualifying players.
Zeitler, 26, was taken in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft out of Wisconsin. He played out the final year of his four-year, $7.544 million rookie contract when the Bengals elected to pick up his fifth-year option last year.
Zeitler made a base salary of $8.01 million for the 2016 season and is now in position to be one of the best available free agents in this year’s market.
In 2016, Zeitler appeared in all 16 games for the Bengals and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 7 guard out of 72 qualifying players.
We have them featured in our Top 100 – 2017 Free Agents list.