We're not sure about the validity of the report, nor are we weighing much confidence in the story until it's confirmed via another source -- let's call this a rumor for now. According to Yahoo Sports! NFL Insider Rand Getlin, the Cincinnati Bengals are one of four teams "in the running" for Cleveland Browns OLB Jabaal Sheard.
OLB Jabaal Sheard is going to be a steal for one of these teams: #Bucs, #Bengals, #Seahawks, and #Pats all in the running.— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) March 9, 2015
Sheard, a former second-round pick in the 2011 NFL draft, has generated 23 quarterback sacks in four seasons with the Cleveland Browns. After a solid rookie season (8.5 sacks and five forced fumbles), Sheard's productivity in both categories has slowed to the point that the talent-starving Browns are willing to let him walk into free agency.
The Bengals and Patriots seem like the most unlikely destinations, largely due to their history of not overpaying free agents from other teams. In addition to that, the Bengals don't have a history of finding a niche for outside linebackers in 3-4 defensive alignments. On the other hand, Sheard might be a better defensive end in a base 4-3 alignment.
The Buccaneers are willing to spend to buy a winning team, but we'll see where Sheard lands.