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Browns re-sign veteran LB Malcolm Smith to 1-year deal

Malcolm Smith
Posted at 2:43 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 17:12:50-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns, continuing to address the team’s defensive needs, are re-signing veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith, the team announced Thursday.

Smith was a staple in the Browns defense last season, finishing second on the team with 72 tackles while recording a sack, a forced fumble, and an interception.

According to Pro Football Focus, Smith was the 13th best linebacker overall with a 70.8 grade and 7th in coverage with a 79.0 grade among qualifying linebackers.

Smith agreed to a 1-year deal worth $1,212,500 with the Browns, including a $137,500 signing bonus, $500,000 guaranteed, according to Spotrac.

“I think our prospects at success are what have me most excited. Obviously, there is a lot of familiarity here. For me, it was about making the best decision for my family, too, as far as taking them to Cleveland and what I saw from being in the city," Smith said. "I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to the opportunity to play football."

The Browns signed Smith during training camp last season, acquiring a veteran leader for Cleveland’s young linebacker corps.

During his 10 year career, Smith has appeared in 117 games and recorded 466 tackles, seven sacks, and five interceptions and was the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seahawks.

Smith will rejoin Sione Takitaki, Mack Wilson, and Jacob Phillips in the linebacker room, with the team expected to continue adding players to the position and across the defense as they look to improve as the 2021 season approaches.

And Smith said there's specific areas he hopes the team addresses this offseason.

“The key is always pass rush and coverage. They go hand in hand. I feel like last year we had really good pieces that complemented each other well, and even through injury, we were able to hold up a bit. That is it. You get those two things and everything else kind of falls in line," Smith said.

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Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.