3. Joe Schobert
Joe Schobert may or may not be a fit to the 2022 Browns. He’s still out there as of press time, but it’s not clear how badly Cleveland needs a linebacker whose best position is the MIKE and especially during early downs when stopping the run is at a premium. There’s a question of fit and still a question of whether the Browns are willing to spend what Schobert’s camp believes he’s worth.
Schobert, lest anyone forget, was more or less discovered and refined by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in 2017. Under the tutelage of Williams, Schobert reached the Pro Bowl and led the NFL in tackles with 140.
It’s safe to say that the Browns front office loved him, but they didn’t love paying linebackers and still don’t. They have shown that they will pay premier defensive ends and cornerbacks, since Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward are at the very top of the NFL payscale, but they are less crazy about paying defensive tackles, traditional linebackers and safeties.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah may get them to change their minds the way he’s going, but Schobert is not JOK. Schobert left the Browns on very good terms and got paid by Jacksonville at five years and $53.7 million, with $21.5 million guaranteed.
He was traded to Pittsburgh last season, and the Steelers chose to release him this year rather than pay him his full salary. That’s a signal that the Jaguars overpaid and he may need to look at a smaller salary if he wants to play for a good solid organization that is willing to offer him guaranteed dollars.
So, how much does he and his agent figure he is worth? And how much would he play in the current Browns system?
He might not be the greatest fit in the 4-2-5 alignment. As mentioned on the previous page, based on the fact that they will face the run-first Baltimore Ravens twice a year, a 4-3-4 alignment makes perfect sense even if they sign Sheldon Richardson. If they cannot come up with the right defensive tackles, they may be forced to try a 3-3-5 alignment.
Again that’s conjecture, not information from a secret source or anything of that nature. They may address the problem via trade later this summer, who knows?
Schobert has to be given consideration, but he may still be out of the Browns’ price range and may not fit the role they need. Namely, Schobert may want to be an every-down player and it is not clear whether the Browns could rearrange the defense to create the right role for him. Simply put, a lot of things would have to fall into place, and there are a lot of moving parts.
Still, the Dawg Pound loves Scho. He is an intense, 100 percent effort player and will always be a true Brown