1. Joe Schobert, Linebacker
There’s some debate out there as to whether or not the Browns should extend Joe Schobert. There’s also some question as to where John Dorsey stands on this. Sure, he’s not going to come out and completely divulge his plans as it would kill his leverage in negotiations, but he hasn’t spoken much about the impending free agent middle linebacker. What he has done, is add many players to the mix.
Dorsey found a steal in the fifth round last season in selecting Genard Avery out of Memphis. This year, he added Sione Takitaki in the third-round out of BYU and Mack Wilson from Alabama in the fifth. There was also an underrated move in free agency as the team picked up Adarius Taylor who was a team captain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018.
None of those moves means Schobert won’t be re-signed but it could very well be a sign that Dorsey is trying to protect himself if the former Pro Bowler demands more money than the team is willing to pay at the position. And after the past two seasons, Schobert can demand a lot of cash.
A former fourth-round pick, Schobert led the NFL with 142 tackles in 2017. He added three sacks and four pass defenses as well as three forced fumbles. He topped 100 tackles again in 2018, which was despite the fact that he missed three games due to injury.
To further highlight his importance to the defense, Cleveland lost all three games he missed while the defense struggled to stop the run without him. All that put together more than suggests Schobert deserves to break the bank.