Browns, Steelers have needs to fill 

November, 7, 2006
11/07/06
10:12
AM ET
The Browns and the Steelers are out of the playoff picture and I have already fielded quite a few questions in my chats about both teams' offseason needs. Here are my very early thoughts on what both teams should try to accomplish after Week 17.

Cleveland
I expect the Browns to finish with five or six wins and pick somewhere between sixth and 10th in the first round. Their significant unrestricted free agents unofficially include starters DE Alvin McKinley, OG Cosey Coleman, and FS Brian Russell and third WR Dennis Northcutt.

Northcutt could be allowed to leave and be replaced by Josh Cribbs, who was recently resigned. McKinley is far from spectacular, but defensive end could be the weakest position on the Cleveland roster and he is a tough and experienced player. Coleman is also a stop-gap starter, but much like the defensive end position Cleveland doesn't have a suitable replacement presently on the roster. Russell is probably the best player of the four and the leader of Cleveland's secondary. The Browns have Brodney Pool waiting in the wings and he looks promising, but bringing Russell back would be ideal.

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