Next up on our 2021 review of the Browns’ unrestricted free agents is LB B.J. Goodson.
How and When He Joined the Browns: With the Browns deciding to not bring Christian Kirksey or Joe Schobert back, Cleveland signed Goodson to a 1-year, $2.4 million deal as a free agent in March 2020. He was originally a 4th round draft pick by the Giants in 2016, and spent the 2019 season with the Packers.
Productivity Level Last Season: In 14 regular season games with the Browns, Goodson was the team’s leading tackler (91) and registered a 1⁄2 sack, 2 tackles for a loss, 3 quarterback hits, 2 interceptions, 6 passes defended, and 1 fumble recovery. In 2 postseason games, Goodson led the team with 16 tackles.
In a linebacker group that was criticized for much of the season, Goodson played well and showed that he can be a quality starter in the NFL. He consistently graded out as one of the Browns’ top week-by-week defenders, and didn’t miss tackles.
Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: Cleveland needs to upgrade the linebacker position, but it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to add three new linebackers who will each play at an exceptionally high level. It’s not easy to gut an entire group of linebackers like the Browns did heading into season and expect it to go smoothly. We can’t start over from square one — last year’s decisions were in part to help evaluate which of the new guys could be good pieces for 2021, and I think Goodson demonstrated his value. He also showed to be durable, only missing time due to having COVID-19 late in the season.
What the Browns Should Do: I think the Browns should offer Goodson a 2-year deal worth $6 million, which would be a raise compared to last season and keep him with the team for multiple years.
I think it’s a beneficial deal for Goodson too, because one of the reasons he landed in Cleveland a year ago was because it was uncertain whether he’d be able to secure a starting role elsewhere. In Cleveland, he’s going to remain a starter no matter what. These decisions aren’t made in isolation either. When I say the Browns should re-sign Goodson, it’s because I also think they should pursue another linebacker in free agency and one in the draft to help fill out the position group.
Let us know below whether or not the team should try to re-sign B.J. Goodson.
Should the Browns re-sign LB B.J. Goodson?
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