3 free agents Cleveland Browns could target at linebacker

Joe Schobert. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Joe Schobert. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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With Anthony Walker out for the season, the Cleveland Browns could look to free agency to add depth to their linebacker corps

The win over the Steelers helped calm things down for the Cleveland Browns following a week full of questions surrounding their loss to New York. Unfortunately, not everything about that Thursday night game was great.

During the win, Cleveland lost Anthony Walker, Jr. who suffered a season-ending quad tendon tear. With him out, Jacob Phillips will slide into the MIKE position but there has to be some concern there as well. Phillips has the talent to get the job done but he has struggled with durability so far in his young career.

In an effort to protect themselves from being too thin should another injury happen, the Browns could look to free agency where a few players are available and can help,

Free agent linebackers Cleveland Browns can target

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns, Malcolm Smith. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

3. Malcolm Smith

If this name sounds familiar, it’s because it should. Former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith spent the past two seasons with the Browns appearing in 30 games with 10 starts. He was never a guy who lit up the stat sheet but he was also never a liability.

With Cleveland, he registered 123 tackles, had five pass defenses, and recorded three picks — two of which came last season.

While he’s 32 years old and this defense is centered around youth, Smith would be able to come in and contribute right away. He knows the scheme Joe Woods runs and is capable of playing any linebacker spot.

At this point in his career, he’s not a full-time starter but he can give a team quality snaps, and having to lean on him to start in a pinch wouldn’t be a bad option in the least.