5 possible replacements if Cleveland Browns don’t re-sign Joe Schobert
This is the second off-season in a row that the Cleveland Browns have had a chance to extend linebacker Joe Schobert and they don’t seem to be in any rush to get a deal done for one of their defensive leaders.
Since becoming the full-time starter at middle linebacker for the Cleveland Browns in 2017 Joe Schobert has been durable, professional, and very productive. He has had over 100 tackles in each of those seasons including 144 tackles and a pro bowl appearance in 2017.
Schobert should be the Browns top priority this offseason, he is only 26 years old and has lot of good football left in him. But it wouldn’t be the first time Cleveland made a bad roster move so fans should prepare for the possibility of Schobert not wearing brown and orange in 2020.
It should also be noted that contract talks are on hold until the new league year begins in March and the NFL and it’s player’s association agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.
There are some good playmakers available in free agency, not all of them fit at middle linebacker but they are versatile and the Browns have a young player like Mack Wilson who could possibly learn to play in the middle.
Some of the free agents might cost more than Schobert but they may bring more to the table as well. There are also options out there that won’t cost as much as Schobert because they aren’t as good.
The other option is to draft a replacement but this year’s draft is not very deep at linebacker, there is really only one player at the position worthy of the Browns first-round pick at number 10 but we will revisit that later. They could take a late-round pick and hope that it pans out but that is not a reliable substitute for a pro bowler.
Downgrading at the middle linebacker is unacceptable for a team that finished 30th in defending the rush last season. If they don’t resign Schobert it will be hard to sign somebody better.
Everybody on this list is an unrestricted free agent so they are free to sign anywhere they want.