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Report: Browns to pursue Avril and Kruger in free agency

Paul Kruger, Andrew Luck

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger (99) looks up after sacking Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) during the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)


The Browns appear to be in the market for a pass rusher.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns plan to pursue Lions defensive end Cliff Avril and Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger when free agency gets underway. He sources also tell her that they’re interested in Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant and Cardinals linebacker Quentin Groves.

Avril would presumably move to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme if he wound up in Cleveland, a switch that probably wouldn’t change his main focus on getting after the quarterback all that much. He played for Browns defensive line coach Joe Cullen in Detroit, which Cabot thinks could give the Browns an edge. Neither he nor Kruger is going to come cheap, though, and both figure to have other interested parties chatting them up come the start of the three-day negotiating window that starts on Saturday.

Groves played for defensive coordinator Ray Horton in Arizona last season and had four sacks, but he would seem to be a secondary target after the big fish. Bryant, he of the recent arrest and legendary mugshot, had four sacks for the Raiders last year.