Cleveland Browns: 5 free agent options better than Malcolm Smith

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The Cleveland Brown’s patch-work on the defense continues as they sign free agent Malcolm Smith on Sunday.

Malcolm Smith is getting another shot in the league with the Cleveland Browns. The former free agent is now on his fourth team in four years. Poor play and injuries have hamstrung the former Seattle Seahawks SuperBowl MVP, which is why he’s available. Don’t let the award get in your way of seeing Smith for who he is. He’s nothing more than a backup at this point in his career and at in his best years was an average player. Now he’s older, slower, and less likely to actually make a difference today.

Smith was officially signed by the Browns on Sunday and it capped off a week of hemming and hawing around the direction of the team’s defense after Mack Wilson got injured. The team needed another linebacker even before Wilson got injured, but it’s now the team finally moves. Instead of getting a top free agent or making a big move to shore up the center of this defense, the team again goes for a bargain basement deal.

Which is odd. If you look at the offseason the Browns spent money, but most of it went to the offense. Jack Conklin and Austin Hooper came in with mega deals. Yet, the Browns put in patchwork type effort for the defense. Signing several bargain-basement deals with guys who were never starters or bad ones on their previous teams.

Guys like Karl Joseph are young, injury-prone, and had a tendency to miss assignments. B.J. Goodson was a Green Bay Packer, the only team more hungry for good linebackers than the Browns and he couldn’t catch on there. Guys like Andrew Sendejo, who was one a Pro Bowl-caliber talent but now in his early 30’s and struggling to stay healthy, doesn’t bring inspire much confidence in the team.

Besides the Myles Garrett extension, no move the Browns made in free agency made anyone really feel like they tried to get better. The team is hoping hard that the draft picks are better than their draft positions and are ready faster than usual, otherwise, this defense is going to struggle. Smith isn’t the answer but there are five linebackers the team can still bring on fair deals who can offer something to the team.

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