5 Upcoming Free Agents the Browns Will Let Walk

With contracts expiring, these 5 Cleveland Browns might not be in the plans for the 2024 season
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1. Za’Darius Smith, EDGE

One of the more surprising moves this offseason was when Andrew Berry was able to land Za'Darius Smith in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings. His addition gave the Browns an elite set of pass-rushers along with Myles Garrett.

After 12 games, Garrett has put together an amazing campaign and is in the running for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. Currently dealing with a shoulder injury that slowed him down against L.A., Garrett has 32 tackles and 13 sacks thus far. As for Smith, his numbers haven't been as impressive.

He heads into this weekend with 22 tackles and 2.5 sacks. However, that doesn't mean he hasn't been good. In fact, he's been able to generate pressure on the quarterback 22 times. For some reference, Garrett has been credited with 29. Smith might not be getting home but he's also forced teams to worry about more than just one pass-rusher which has had a huge impact. Throw in the fact that he's graded higher as a run defender than a pass-rusher by PFF and it's clear this move worked out.

Even so, it's unlikely Smith will be re-signed in the offseason. Not only will he be able to get more money elsewhere but the Browns have another option in-house to take on more snaps in Ogbo Okoronkwo. A free-agent addition this offseason, Okoronkwo has 20 tackles and 3.5 sacks in a rotational role. He's younger and will be more affordable than Smith and they also have Alex Wright and Isaiah McGuire who can step up as well.

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