Ranking the Cleveland Browns 5 best moves of the offseason

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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4. Trading for Za'Darius Smith

After the 2023 NFL Draft, the Browns pulled off a surprising move when they added Za'Darius Smith in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings. A powerful EDGE, Smith stands 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds, giving them another massive bookend across from Myles Garrett.

Pairing the two could end up being a deadly combination, at least for opposing teams, since the pass rushers are in elite company. For example, there are just five players in the NFL who have put up at least 10 sacks in three of the past four seasons, and Smith and Garrett make up 40 percent of that list.

Smith comes in as a replacement for Jadeveon Clowney, who wasn't welcome back after a very disappointing finish to the 2022 season — which ended with a lot of finger-pointing on his part. While he was a great No. 2 defensive end, especially against the run, Smith can be just as good while also giving more in the pass-rushing department.

Since his arrival, there have been some questions about his character, with Albert Breer even saying he could be Clowney 2.0. That feels like a stretch, however, since the Browns only need him to play out his one-year contract and get after the quarterback while they groom Ogbo Okoronkwo, Alex Wright, and Isaiah McGuire.