While many star players have underwhelmed this year, LB Joe Schobert has done the opposite. He has been unstoppable. Among linebackers, he ranks sixth in solo tackles. He has the most interceptions of any linebacker this season, with four, and he also has forced two fumbles to combine for six turnovers. Schobert does not rush the quarterback often though he does have two sacks this season.
According to PFF, Schobert has been the 10th best linebacker in the league, which has helped to anchor down an otherwise young group of linebackers. He had his most career game on Thursday Night Football versus the Steelers. He recorded two interceptions and a sack as the Browns dominated defensively in a 21-7 victory.
This is a contract year for Joe Schobert and he is playing like he wants a raise. Fellow linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jordan Hicks, who are eighth and ninth in linebacker PFF, get paid 8.5 million and seven million annually. The Browns currently have 54 million dollars available in cap space for 2020 and 8.5 million to Joe Schobert would certainly be a worthwhile use of the cash.
Joe Schobert has been a Brown for all four of his NFL seasons, meaning he has plenty left in the tank, but he is also the only defensive player who has been on the Browns roster for four seasons. Thus, he fills the role of being a leader on defense. He brings a level of play to the position that deserves the big check and his value to the Browns, that isn’t based on sacks or interceptions, is very high as well. Schobert is married and she expecting their first child in the spring, making it likely that if the Browns match any deal by another team, Schobert will choose to don the brown and orange again in 2020.
Schobert is a necessity to the Browns if they want to compete in 2020 and beyond and if they choose not to spend the money to retain Schobert, the defense will see a huge regression.