Za'Darius Smith, DE
Before being acquired by the Browns in the offseason, Smith had made a reputation for himself as one of the best pass rushers in the league. Having made three out of the last four Pro Bowls, Smith had over double-digit sacks in 2019, 2020, and 2022. He had 44 tackles and 10 sacks the year before arriving in Cleveland.
On paper, the Browns' vision when they added Smith worked. They were able to create one of the most ferocious defensive lines and one of the best overall defenses in the league. However, how much of that success can be attributed to ZDS is a question mark.
First of all, Smith only played in 59% of the snaps, compared to 84% in back-to-back years in his prime in Green Bay. He finished the season with 27 tackles and a career-low 5.5 sacks.
Smith's power and speed still popped at times, and Browns fans are still hopeful to have the best pass-rusher duo in the NFL with Smith and Myles Garrett. But, those days for the 31-year-old Smith may be over.