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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Cleveland Browns
Joe Schobert. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

1. Joe Schobert

Another familiar face that’s available in free agency is Joe Schobert, a 2016 fourth-round pick that spent the first four seasons of his career with the Browns. Schobert was a huge fan favorite and led the NFL in tackles with 144 during 2017.

In four seasons with Cleveland, Schobert had 408 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and six interceptions. Even with these numbers, he wasn’t retained in 2020 but it made sense why. Andrew Berry — with his analytical approach to team-building — was never going to pay top-dollar for a linebacker and the Jacksonville Jaguars were willing to sign him to a five-year contract worth $53.75 million with more than $21 million of that being guaranteed.

Schobert had 141 tackles and three picks that year but was still traded away in the offseason. Jacksonville sent him to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a sixth-round pick. Again, the tackles were there as he racked up 112 but was released in the offseason. From there, he headed to the Denver Broncos but didn’t make their 53-man roster.

It might be true that he’s not a top linebacker in the game any longer but he’s always around the ball and that could make him a valuable addition at this point in the season. He would not only provide solid depth behind Phillips but if another injury happens, he’s more than capable of stepping in and starting several games.