NFL Free Agency: Should the Cleveland Browns pursue Aldon Smith?

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
Modified 28 Mar 2021

Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry has been busy bolstering the defensive side of the roster during the first week of NFL free agency. With the additions of John Johnson III, Troy Hill, Takk McKinley, Anthony Walker JR, and Malik Jackson, Berry has given the defense a much-needed facelift. However, one question that remains is: are the Browns going to add another defensive end to the mix before the NFL draft?

With the annual Jadeveon Clowney watch train starting again, it’s evident that Andrew Berry is not yet done stockpiling defenders in the free agency. While everyone focuses on the Jadeveon Clowney hype train, should Brown look at the other free agents available at the position?

The Dallas Cowboys informed defensive end Aldon Smith that they will not be bringing him back in 2021. That gives other teams the chance to sign Aldon Smith. Should the Cleveland Browns be interested in the former All-Pro?

One of the big questions for anybody interested in signing the former All-Pro defensive end is his myriad of past transgressions. Aldon Smith left behind a laundry of red flags in his wake during his first five years in the league. The latest incident, a hit-and-run, triggered a suspension from the NFL by the league that lasted for 4 years. That led to many believing that Smith has played his last down in the NFL.

NFL Free Agency: Should the Browns pursue Aldon Smith?

After serving his suspension, Aldon Smith looked to make a comeback in the 2020 NFL season. The former first-round pick landed a one-year deal with the Cowboys. Not much was expected out of Smith due to his long absence from the game. However, the league took notice of Smith when he started the season as the same impact player that he was earlier in his career.

Smith started the season by racking 3 sacks and 20 tackles to his name in the first five games. His production dwindled as the season went along, but this was to be expected due to his time away from the sport combined with the lack of a structured offseason. Smith finished the season with 5 sacks, 48 tackles (31 solo), and 14 quarterback hits. The most significant number, however, has to be 16. Aldon Smith started all 16 games for the Cowboys, something Smith was not able to accomplish since his second year in the NFL.

Andrew Berry and the Browns will definitely wait on Jadeveon Clowney before moving on in their search to pair Myles Garrett with another impact-edge defender. If they are looking for a low-risk, high-reward candidate to fill that role, Aldon Smith should be near the top of the list. His price tag will be a fraction of Jadeveon Clowney’s and with an offseason program and positive culture surrounding him, Smith can be the player that the Browns need.

Published 28 Mar 2021, 03:23 IST
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