Za’Darius Smith should free up Myles Garrett
One of the more used talked about things in Cleveland from year to year is why Myles Garrett isn’t being a bigger impact player against opposing defenses, despite his advanced stats claiming he’s unstoppable. The excuse has been “he’s double-teamed more than anyone”, and that’s not really a lie. There might be a guy or two more double-teamed, but I understand the argument.
That’s an argument that no longer exists, as Za’Darius Smith’s arrival now makes it very clear what’s expected from Garrett; total domination and nothing less. Smith is about as elite as it gets as a pass-rusher as a 30-year-old in the NFL. He’s hard to stop, versatile, and can play with his hand down or up in a two-point stance.
He’s going to be a force for every team in the NFL assuming he’s healthy and fit. If he is, then there is no excuse for Garrett to not have 20+ sacks, a few picks, 50+ tackles, and a Defensive Player of the Year award.
On the plus side, Smith has a chance to get back to the Pro Bowl and raise his value in the 2024 offseason, where he’s more than likely going to leave Cleveland for a huge payday, regardless of the team’s record.