The Browns entered the market for a starting strong safety this week when they traded Jabrill Peppers to the New York Giants as part of the Odell Beckham Jr. deal, and a reunion between General Manager John Dorsey and Eric Berry could be the next domino to fall.
Dorsey spent his entire four-season tenure as Kansas City's GM with Berry, a three-time All Pro and five-time Pro Bowler whom the Chiefs cut on Wednesday.
"I've known Eric Berry for a long time," Dorsey said Thursday during a conference call. "I think he's a fine, fine person. Of course, we're going to do our research, and if we feel that he fits this organization, of course, we'll make some calls to his representatives."
The Browns' research will likely center on Berry's health. A ruptured Achilles' tendon in 2017 and a sore heel in 2018 limited him to three games the past two seasons. Dr. Bob Anderson, a noted foot and ankle specialist, determined this offseason Berry, 30, doesn't need surgery on his heel, the Kansas City Star reported last month.
Running back Duke Johnson and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah became expendable this offseason when Dorsey signed running back Kareem Hunt and traded for defensive end Olivier Vernon.
Dorsey was asked if reports that Johnson and Ogbah are being shopped are correct.
"[Other teams] call every day about certain players," Dorsey said. "Right now, those two guys are Cleveland Browns. They both are really good football players, but teams call around to [discuss] a lot of different scenarios all of the time."
Dorsey insisted he still doesn't know when the NFL will announce Hunt's impending suspension. The league is investigating him for shoving and kicking a woman — an act caught on security footage in downtown Cleveland in February 2018 — and two alleged physical altercations with men.
"I do know this with regards to Kareem: He's been in the building, and I know that he's really done a nice job of being committed and of doing that work so that he can be the best version of himself," Dorsey said. "I know he's been diligently working on that."
Do the Browns need to add a starting linebacker after cutting Jamie Collins last week?
Dorsey answered by giving 2018 fifth-round pick Genard Avery a vote of confidence.
"I think Genard Avery played at a really nice level last year," Dorsey said. "What you're going to do is explore every opportunity. If a good player comes about, you will again try to add competition because you can’t have enough competition at all spots, even at the linebacker spot."
Speaking of linebackers, free-agent acquisition Adarius Taylor shared a personal goal he's bringing to Cleveland.
"I definitely am coming here to start and play," he said during a conference call. "We'll see what the team needs me to do, but I came here to start."
Taylor started 10 of his 15 games last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and compiled 60 tackles, a sack, five passes defensed, an interception and a forced fumble.
The Browns signed veteran Eric Kush to provide depth on the interior of their offensive line. He'll be counted on to push 2018 second-round pick Austin Corbett, the overwhelming favorite to start at right guard with Kevin Zeitler traded to the Giants.
The Browns announced the move for Kush on Thursday along with their previously reported free-agent signings: defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, tight end Demetrius Harris and Taylor.
Kush, 29, has started 12 of the 33 games in which he’s appeared since Dorsey drafted him in the fifth round in 2013, Dorsey's first year as Kansas City's GM.
Last season, Kush was the Chicago Bears' starting left guard in the first six games until a neck injury sidelined him. He finished with seven starts in his 15 games.
• The Browns no longer have a first-round pick in April's draft because they traded the 17th overall choice in the package for Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver. Dorsey wouldn't rule out trading back into the first round, though. "If you think the player can help you, you go up and do it," he said.
• Dorsey reiterated he's comfortable with Drew Stanton as the No. 2 quarterback. "I still stand by that," he said.
• Contract updates: The two-year contract Harris received from the Browns is worth $6 million, including $3.25 million guaranteed, according to ESPN. ... The two-year deal former Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor received from the Los Angeles Chargers has a base value of $11 million and includes $6 million guaranteed in the first year, per NFL Network.
• Former Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor, the 21st overall pick in 2011, recently announced his retirement. "I’d like to thank the NFL and the Cleveland Browns for drafting me," Taylor tweeted. "It’s been a fun and tough 8 years. I’ve made my home in NE Ohio with my family. I love the Cleveland fans and can’t wait to give back to the community that supported me. I’m officially retiring! #DawgPound #4Life."
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.