The Cleveland Browns need to do better than former SuperBowl MVP Malcolm Smith.
Mack Wilson was going to be a key feature of a turned over Cleveland Browns defense. Then he hyper-extended his knee so badly that he’s looking at several months off at least, if not season-ending surgery. Wilson was seen as the best linebacker on this team, among a sea of unproven and castoff players. So with his injury, you’d think the Browns would go after someone worth getting.
Instead, they’re bringing in former Seattle Seahawks Malcolm Smith. Smith won the SuperBowl XLVIII MVP by happenstance in a one-sided blowout of the Denver Broncos, then led by Peyton Manning. After that, he went on to have two solid years in Oakland, and then went to San Francisco on a five-year deal. He missed the entire first season of his contract in 2016 season due to injuries. He then played just one year in San Francisco before moving to have a half a season for Dallas and Jacksonville.
Smith is far from what he once was. It makes no real sense to bring in a 31-year-old with no history of impressive performances, coming off of injury-plagued years and unproductive outings to come in and help bolster a rush defense.
The team would be better off going younger and giving someone with more ties to the area a shot, like a Jake Ryan. Ryan went to St. Ignatius and is three years younger than Smith. He’s a bigger question mark than Smith and you can justify signing him due to the potential he could bring if he’s healthy.
It’s obvious what Smith is at this point in his career and it’s not something the Browns should be leaning on. The team would be better off getting a few undrafted free agents in to fill the role of the injured Wilson than doubling down on yet another injury-plagued veteran.
The team needs to do better with the linebackers because Smith isn’t the answer.