Doug Kyed, NESN:
The Patriots are “in the running” for Cleveland Browns free-agent pass rusher Jabaal Sheard, Yahoo! Sports’ reported Monday morning. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals also have shown interest in Sheard, Getlin notes.

Lombardi, who now serves as an assistant to the coaching staff with the Patriots, was the Browns’ general manager in 2013. The Patriots have signed multiple former Browns since Lombardi came on board, including wide receivers Brian Tyms and Jonathan Krause, linebacker Eric Martin and running back Dion Lewis.

Jabaal Sheard is a fourth year OLB who made the transition from DE. The 2014 Cleveland were last in the league against the run, but Jabaal was team's best run-stopper. Sheard was a defensive end at the University of Pittsburgh. His play at outside linebacker has improved and Jabaal has been able to utilize his athleticism to play more coverage. Jabaal has played in the 3-4 defense the past two seasons. In his rookie year of 2011, Sheard led the Browns with nine sacks and five forced fumbles.

The competition is steep for the hard-nosed multi-talented defender. The 2011 second round pick may have been chosen earlier than 37th in the NFL draft by the Cleveland browns if not for an off-field fight that led to Jabaal's suspension as a junior at Pitt. Sheard paid restitution fines for injuries during the fight and was reinstated for his senior season.

Both Super Bowl participants are in the hunt for the services of Jabaal Sheard. One other team, the Dallas Cowboys would be an ideal fit under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, but salary cap issues concerning WR Dez Bryant and RB DeMarco Murray take precedence. The Cowboys would use Jabaal at defensive end in their 4-3 alignment. New England and Seattle would have options for the speedy versatile backer.

After four years with the Cleveland Browns, the win total has risen from four to just seven. A 25-39 record with an unstable QB situation doesn't paint a very, rosy picture for the near future. It may be time for Jabaal Sheard to join one of those organizations that utilizes its strengths, and puts their players in the best position to win.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 3/09/2015 02:49:00 PM Edit

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