Finalized Agreement: The Browns have formally declared that they will reunite with their former second-round pick to replace Za’Darius Smith.

Browns acquire Pro Bowl DE Za'Darius Smith in trade with Vikings

Browns Positioned to Reunite With Former 2nd-Rounder to Replace Za’Darius Smith

The Cleveland Browns are in need of another edge defender and one of the team’s former draft picks has come available ahead of free agency next month.

The Miami Dolphins released defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah on Friday, February 23, followed by cornerback Xavien Howard. Ogbah played the last four seasons in Miami, including the most recent two campaigns on a four-year contract worth $65.4 million total.

Emmanuel Ogbah, Dolphins

Teams can officially sign Ogbah as early as March 13 and a reunion with the Browns — who selected the pass-rusher with the No. 32 overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft — makes a reasonable amount of sense considering Cleveland’s projected needs.

Defensive end Za’Darius Smith is also headed to free agency and will turn 32 years old ahead of next season. Smith remains formidable, putting up 6 sacks and 60 total pressures in 2023, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). However, Spotrac lists his projected market value as $12.5 million annually over a new two-year deal, which may well exceed the Browns’ internal assessment of his value as he rounds the corner into his mid-30s.

Emmanuel Ogbah, Dolphins

Ogbah also produced 6 sacks across 15 games played in 2023 and did so in a rotational role, starting just one game, while Smith started all 16 regular-season contests in which he participated. Ogbah rated out well below Smith in PFF’s analytics-based rating system, as he produced less than one-third of the pressures (19 total).

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