Browns: Myles Garrett continues to show lack of leadership
By Randy Gurzi
Ahead of the 2020 season, Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns agreed to a five-year, $125 million contract extension and since then, he's blossomed into a superstar. He set the franchise record with 16 sacks that season, then tied that mark in 2022. In the process, he became the Browns all-time sack leader as well.
As impressive as he is on the field, he's never truly lived up to the leadership role that's often bestowed upon a player with a contract north of $100 million. And that's continued this offseason as he's been criticized for not showing up for OTAs this week in Berea while Cleveland installs a new defense under Jim Schwartz.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski was asked about Garrett's absence and said the workouts are voluntary, so they understand why he's not there. However, he also stated just before this that every day is important as they learn a new scheme and only free agent addition Rodney McLeod knows the defense.
While Stefanski took the high road, that's not how Garrett has always operated, which is why his leadership is typically questioned. Garrett has been quick to throw coaches and teammates under the bus — and even went after the fans when they left during a complete meltdown in Week 2 of the 2022 season against the Jets.
Fans have often excused Garrett's desire to call out others by saying he's a leader but that's also not 100 percent true. Calling Perrion Winfrey out for being immature while getting yourself benched for not following team rules is not leadership. Neither is berating a coaching staff for not making adjustments but then getting mad when Baker Mayfield says it's not cool to beat a dude over the head with a helmet.
It's also not ideal to have a new coaching staff come in — after he was vocal that the old defensive coordinator was the issue — and not have their best player be there to help the transition.
Of course, since Tony Grossi is the one saying he doesn't approve of Garrett missing OTAs, it will be met with backlash but the fact remains that Garrett continues to expect everyone to be accountable and work to get better, as long as he can do things his way.