Browns will re-sign LB Malcolm Smith

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Jeff Risdon
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It’s been a pretty quiet day on the free agency front in Berea, but the Browns are bringing back one of their own free agents. Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Browns are set to re-sign linebacker Malcolm Smith.

Other Browns media sources quickly confirmed the report. Contract details are unknown at this time.

Smith, 31, started four games and played meaningful reps in 15 in his first season in Cleveland. He produced 72 tackles, one sack, one INT and one forced fumble while playing just over half the defensive snaps on the year. He settled into his role in coverage and defending perimeter runs better as the season bore on.

With fellow LB B.J. Goodson, the team’s leading tackler in 2020, also a free agent, bringing Smith back ensures some continuity and veteran presence in the linebacking corps. Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson are entering their third seasons and Jacob Phillips comes off his rookie campaign.

Cleveland could still be in the market for an off-ball LB with some speed, but Smith returns to help the Browns defense. NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo noted the Carolina Panthers also had interest in Smith.