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The Cleveland Browns have spent a lot of resources this offseason to upgrade their defense specifically both the defensive line and secondary units. With offseason training activities getting started, the Browns will get a chance to take a look at some of the players that they hope will upgrade that side of the ball.

The defensive line added big names like Jadeveon Clowney, Malik Jackson and Takk McKinley. The line is also expected to get Andrew Billings (COVID-19 opt-out) and Curtis Weaver (injured reserve) back after missing all of last season.

The secondary also got some huge upgrades with the signing of John Johnson III and Troy Hill from the top pass defense in the league while drafting Greg Newsome II and Richard LeCounte III. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is a linebacker but has skills and experience in roles similar to safety and slot corner to help out the secondary as well.

With Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams both expected back from missing 2020 due to injury, the secondary is expected to have a lot of added help for top defensive back Denzel Ward in 2021.

Could there be room for one more?

Steven Nelson was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers to help the team’s salary cap issues. He has played six years in the NFL including the last two with the Steelers. Nelson has started 15 or more games in four of his six seasons including the last three.

At 28 years old, Nelson is still considered to be near the prime of his career.

In 2020, Nelson had two interceptions and was graded by Pro Football Focus with a 67.1 overall grade and a 68.1 coverage grade, good for 48th best coverage corner in the NFL.

For reference, Terrance Mitchell was ranked 75th in coverage with a grade of 63.4 last year as the Browns’ number two cornerback.

Bill Barnwell of ESPN (Insider, $) recently predicted that Nelson would sign a one-year deal for $4.5 million. Barnwell guessed that the Arizona Cardinals would be the team to sign him but could the Browns be aggressive in acquiring his services?

With the Browns, Nelson would compete with Newsome and Williams for snaps in nickel and dime situations. He would get the opportunity to play his former team twice in the regular season and play for a team with legit Super Bowl aspirations.

The Browns may not be willing to pay quite as high of a price as Barnwell guessed, and this late in the offseason only an injury could help Nelson’s leverage, but they could structure a competitive deal.

Beyond his contract demands, Nelson may not want to come to Cleveland given Joe Woods’ stated intention to play three safeties and the team’s investment in Ward, Hill, Newsome and Williams. While a team can never have too much coverage players, Nelson might find his route to another multi-year deal by going someplace he could be used more often.

Right now, the Browns have a myriad of guys hoping to make the roster behind Ward, Hill, Newsome and Williams. Nelson has more experience and is more talented than all of them but would cost more in cap space and may not want to choose the Browns.

Steven Nelson would be a helpful addition to the revamped Cleveland secondary, he just seems like an unlikely addition, at this point.