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Cleveland Browns ready to spend big in free agency?

INDIANAPOLIS -- Once the NFL Scouting Combine wraps up, the NFL world will focus its attention on free agency. We still have more than two weeks until the new league year begins, but the market already is starting to shape up.

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The Alex Smith-to-Kansas City Chiefs chatter is picking up steam. And there has been plenty of after-hours chatter here that points toward how next month will look.

One expectation: "Cleveland's going to try to spend some money early," SI.com's Peter King told us on NFL.com's live coverage of the combine.

It's not a huge shock. The Browns have salary-cap space to burn, a new owner and plenty of roster holes.

The Browns are fairly deep at offensive tackle, but they could look to add a big-name wide receiver or cornerback. The Browns are seriously lacking in pass rushers, but it's not like many of those players are available in free agency. The Browns' linebacker group also could use some numbers.

Spending big money in free agency always is a dangerous prospect, as current Browns president Joe Banner learned in Philadelphia. First-time owners like new Browns chief Jimmy Haslam often only learn to not overspend in free agency by making a few big mistakes.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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