No. 1. Traded for defensive end Za’Darius Smith
I can’t stress to you how important the trade for Za’Darius Smith really was for the Cleveland Browns. He, unlike Jadeveon Clowney, is an elite pass-rusher who can actually cause havoc in the backfield. Whether it’s via the pass rush, or filling in the gap to stop the run, Smith is a huge addition to the team.
The Browns were lucky to get him and for the price they did. Sure, if you ask Minnesota Viking fans, the guy isn’t the most beloved ex-member of the Purple People Eaters, but this is a profession. I don’t need him to love Cleveland. I need him to play well in Cleveland.
That’s something he has a history of doing very well at. If he can bring the same level of production to the Browns in 2023 as he did in Minnesota in 2022, the Browns will finally be able to see what Myles Garrett can actually do with some serious help on the line.
With Siaki Ika gobbling up two blockers on his own, and Za’Darius Smith deserving extra attention as well, Garrett will finally get a lot of those looks he’s been complaining about not getting; those one on ones that he and others believe will finally get him into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.
The addition of Smith will give Garrett all the opportunities you can imagine while also ending the complaints about not having help. So it’s now on Garrett to finally take advantage of his situation because the Browns literally can’t do better than landing someone like Smith to bolster their defense.