The Cleveland Browns have signed former Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks to their squad. By all accounts, it looks like he might start for the orange and brown in 2018. So, where does incumbent starter and Pro Bowl middle linebacker Joe Schobert go from here?
The signing of Mychal Kendricks has been…an odd one, to say the least. In a sense, this may be one of the most confusing Cleveland Browns moments of all time. For those who don’t already know the story, let’s do a quick review.
So, sources reported that Kendricks had signed with Cleveland, but he had not signed yet. Kendricks quickly denied all reports and questions about his signing, but then proceeded to sign with the Browns just a couple of days later.
Weird, yes, but the important thing is that Kendricks is officially with the Cleveland Browns now. A signing that begs the question: where does Joe Schobert go from here? After all, Schobert was the starter at middle linebacker last year, but it seems that Kendricks has taken that spot from him.
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Let’s run through a few of the options for Schobert. First, he could accept his role as a backup linebacker, which would be ideal for both sides. Schobert’s ideal spot comes as a fresh linebacker option to keep star defender Jamie Collins fresh.
With Collins now able to rotate in and out with competent options, the Browns can stay rested in the front seven throughout the course of a game.
As the team’s claim to fame, the linebacking corps and defensive line are in dire need of depth so their stars can stay healthy.
Otherwise, Schobert may ask for a trade, as it is hard to see the Browns releasing him. During his breakout season in 2017, Schobert collected 144 total tackles, good for a tie for first in the league. At only 24, Schobert is only getting better as he enters the second half of his rookie deal.
Hopefully for the team, Schobert accepts his role as a backup, rather than ask for a trade. Certainly, he seems like a model team player for the Browns as they continue to build up their defense.
As the second-best “Joe from Wisconsin” on the Browns in 2017, Schobert was able to show exactly what he could contribute to the team. As his rookie contract continues, Schobert could be a great rotational piece on one of the league’s top defenses.
Mychal Kendricks, Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey, and Joe Schobert would make for one intense linebacking crew. Paired along an outstanding defensive line and a steadily improving secondary, both Kendricks and Schobert can coexist on a truly special defense on the shores of Lake Erie.