With the Cleveland Browns ending their season with a record of 7-10, it goes without saying that some players didn’t live up to expectations. Some had minor expectations others were counted on to play major roles that they fell short of. Some players were expected to take steps forward after showing flashes last season and things didn’t come together as the team hoped.
There will be roster changes for the Browns and general manager Andrew Berry who showed last year he will part ways with big contracts. Berry doesn’t seem to have the ego where he can’t admit mistakes showing that with cutting Austin Hooper last offseason.
Here is a look at the biggest disappointments for the Browns this season.
Browns WR Anthony Schwartz. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Schwartz had a rough rookie season marred by injuries and a lack of consistency on the field. Though the team upgraded the position and Schwartz wasn’t asked to be a top target there was still an expectation he could make an impact. He was the only player on the roster that had the truly game-changing speed to challenge defenses vertically.
Schwartz was unable to find a role in the offense and struggled to show enough to see very much time on the field. He finished with only four catches for 51 yards to go with four carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. It wouldn’t be farfetched to question if Schwartz will make the team next season.
John Johnson III
Browns S Jon Johnson III. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
There was a great about of excitement in Cleveland when the Browns signed safety John Johnson in free agency in 2021. He was coming off a season with the Los Angeles Rams where he was one of PFF’s highest-graded safeties on that great defensive unit. Two years later there are people talking about the team moving on from Johnson.
This season at times it has looked as though Johnson wanted to be anywhere but on the field. Though there were some good games this season there isn’t a lot to hang your hat on with Johnson this year. PFF charged JJIII with a total of 17 missed tackles this season which is a major liability for a safety.
Browns LB Jacob Phillips. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Linebacker Jacob Phillips’ season was again marred by injury and he ended up only playing in seven games this season. Phillips began the year splitting reps with Anthony Walker until Walker was injured in Week 3 and landed on Injured Reserve. During those seven games, Phillips struggled mightily and was a liability for the Browns on defense.
PFF graded Phillips poorly, giving him a 36.7 overall in the seven games he played. He seemed to be out of position or confused about his assignment regularly this year. It looked like he wasn’t diagnosing plays quickly enough and was susceptible to misdirection.