Top free agents in the division: No. 18

Free agency officially begins March 12, so the AFC North blog is counting down the 20 best free agents (unrestricted and restricted) from the teams in the division. Let's continue with No. 18 ...


Browns tight end

Status: Unrestricted free agent

The good: Watson is a high-character player who is respected in the locker room and the community. He hasn't missed a game in three of his past four seasons and played 83 percent of the Browns' offensive snaps last year. Watson had a solid bounce-back season in 2012 with 49 catches.

The bad: At 32, Watson seems more suited to be a backup than a starter. He failed to produce over 501 yards receiving the past two seasons and never scored more than three touchdowns in any of his three seasons with Cleveland.

The bottom line: It doesn't look like Watson will be coming back to the Browns, who have the salary-cap room to upgrade at tight end. The Plain Dealer reported that the Browns will look for a starter in free agency and mentioned the likes of the Giants' Martellus Bennett and the Jets' Dustin Keller. Cleveland could replace Watson with the younger Jordan Cameron, and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner knows how to use athletic tight ends. Don't rule out Watson returning to New England where he could provide veteran depth.