The 2019 season looked like it was going to be the last one in Cleveland for linebacker Joe Schobert.
The veteran was on the final year of his rookie contract and then-general manager John Dorsey - a noted “football guy” - was not showing any interest in working out a new deal for a player that was a mainstay of the defense.
That all changed, however, when Dorsey was fired following the season and the Browns hired Andrew Berry as general manager. Now, with a new front office in place, there is a possibility that Schobert will become one of those rare Cleveland draft picks to receive a second contract from the team.
#Browns LB Joe Schobert discussed his approach to free agency in Cleveland and Myles Garrett being reinstated...— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) February 14, 2020
"If both sides can reach can an agreement that would be great. I would love that but you never know."
Schobert was on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Friday and said that while he has not yet talked with head coach Kevin Stefanski, he has spoken with Berry and has renewed optimism about the situation (quotes via The Beacon Journal):
″[Berry] said he’d be reaching out and talk to my agent over the course of the next couple weeks. I’m sure they’ll probably talk at the [Feb. 25-March 2 NFL Scouting] Combine or something. [Berry and I have] communicated since [he’s] been hired, which kind of had broken down, I think, with the previous regime. But I guess we still just have to see where it goes, see where it leads, and if both sides can reach an agreement, then that’d be great. I’d love that, but you never know.”
A fourth-round draft pick in 2016, Schobert took over as a full-time starter in 2017. That season he led the NFL with 144 tackles and was selected to the Pro Bowl. This past season may have been his best, even if it did not result in a Pro Bowl nod, as Schobert finished with 133 tackles, four interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Since joining the starting lineup, Schobert has also only missed three games, all in 2018 with a hamstring injury, meaning that he is a productive and dependable player.
In other words, exactly the type of player the Browns need to keep as part of their foundation.