When the Browns drafted Anthony Schwartz in the third round of the 2021 NFL draft, they envisioned their own Tyreek Hill with his 4.25 elite speed. After all, Schwartz was a track star having competed in the USA Olympic Junior Championships, the Pan American Championships (2017) in Peru, plus the IAAF World U20 Championships (2018) hosted by Finland.
As a high school athlete, he set a new World Youth Best of 10.15 seconds in the 100 meters in the spring of 2017. As he progressed, he was considered a world-class sprinter.
After being drafted by Cleveland, he signed a four-year deal worth $4.86 million. Now he heads into his third season. The question remains: has he shown enough so far to warrant a roster spot going forward? Or is his speed in the offense’s plans?
His career numbers are as follows for two seasons: 25 games played, three starts, 33 targets, 14 receptions, 186 yards, one touchdown, 13.3 yards per reception average, one fumble, three drops, 15 kickoff returns for 322 yards with a 21.5 yards per return average, plus 10 rushes for 96 yards with one score.
In this segment, we offer readers two writers who know their Browns very well, are no strangers to podcasts plus are friends. As a Browns fan, you should check out their links. Marcus Donald has stated that his analysis on Schwartz is spot on while Kristy Acuti has lifted her hand and is giving Donald the “you’re Number 1” finger salute.
Let the debate begin.
STAY or GO?
WR Anthony Schwartz
The Mr. Deacon Experience Browns podcast
LINK: THE MR. DEACON EXPERIENCE
The Auburn Tigers product has had a rough go of it in the last few years playing in Cleveland. Anthony Schwartz has only amassed 13 receptions with 174 yards receiving with 1 TD through the air and 90 yards on the ground with 1 TD. Not quite the impressive resume that we were all looking forward to when Schwartz was taken as the 91st pick in the 2021 draft.
At times he has been sidelined with injuries that keep him off the field and mental health issues and breakdowns in confidence have seemingly derailed a lot of his potential. Yet I’m willing to throw Mr. Schwartz a bone and it goes against my better judgment. I repeat, this goes against my better judgment. Here is why.
Cleveland can be a city of redemption. Let’s ask Kareem Hunt and a boatload of other players who have turned their seemingly bad fates into gold. Josh Gordon was given multiple chances in Cleveland as a wide receiver. What Schwartz lacks is God-given talent. Unlike Gordon, he has managed to keep his nose clean. Along with his world-class speed, I think Coach Kevin Stefanski could still find a suitable use for him in the offense.
The Browns are going to have some salary cap issues and they will need to restructure a lot of contracts including Deshawn Watson’s mega $230 million deal. He will be owed $46 million this year. Schwartz’s rookie contract is very low at $4.86 million for four years. In 2023 he will earn a base salary of $1.1 million while carrying a cap hit of $1,326,279.
In order to keep the books right the Browns can not afford to bring any high-profile veteran WR’s to Berea. It may be a good idea to hold on to Schwartz for the foreseeable future - yet that’s a long shot.
Now that Special Teams coach Mike Priefer has been fired, this may be the opportunity that Schwartz needs to prove himself in the return game. I’d like to see him use his tremendous speed as a possible punt returner and give the Browns that extra weapon they need in the battle of field position.
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Anthony Schwartz has got to go. His catch percentage last season was 40. Now, he was targeted 10 times, but only caught 1! During the preseason, we saw reminisces from the 2021-22 season which ultimately led to Baker’s shoulder injury, our losing season, and eventually the end of Baker’s run with the Browns.
Was it all Schwartz ‘s fault??? We’ll never know, but just because the kid has wheels, doesn’t make him a good receiver. Maybe we could use him in our defensive secondary. But as an offensive player, I can’t see him making the cut anymore. He’s too much of a liability and isn’t worth even a minimal contract (even though that trick play last season was pretty kick-ass).
What say you? Keep Schwartz or boot him?
This poll is closed
Let him play one more season, then decide