Browns Veteran Announces Retirement Plans Ahead of Season

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Browns veteran safety Rodney McLeod announced that the coming season will be his last.

This season will be the “last lap” for veteran Cleveland Browns safety Rodney McLeod.

McLeod re-signed with the Browns this offseason for a second run in Cleveland. His first season with the Browns ended early due to a biceps injury that required surgery.

McLeod, who will turn 34 in June, isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet but acknowledged this is his last season.

“This is the last lap for me. It’s been a long career—a prosperous one, and one many didn’t anticipate when I started out, being undrafted,” McLeod said on NFL Total Access. “I’ve been able to achieve a lot, and I’m looking forward to rocking out with my teammates this year, giving it my all. Hopefully, we end up where we all ultimately want to be, which is in that last dance at the end of the year.”

McLeod has logged 143 starts, 718 tackles and 18 interceptions over his career. He won Super Bowl LII as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018.

Rodney McLeod Hints at Browns’ Super Bowl Aspirations

Getty ImagesBrowns veteran safety Rodney McLeod is hoping to go out on top.

McLeod feels good about returning to a Browns defense that finished the year as the top-ranked unit in the league. He appeared in 10 games with five starts last season and played on around 50% of the defensive snaps.

“I decided to make this the last lap because last year was left incomplete,” McLeod said. “I wanted a complete year. I pride myself on availability and durability. For me, this year, it’s finishing unfinished business. I left food on the plate, and I’m hungry. I could say the same for a lot of my teammates. We got better this offseason, and we’re going to come into the season ready, prepared, and hungry to go out and attain what we desire.”

Without saying it outright, McLeod is hinting at the Browns’ Super Bowl aspirations. Cleveland made the postseason a year ago despite starting five different quarterbacks and an unfortunate wave of key injuries, McLeod included.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson expressed a similar statement during his show “QB Unplugged,” citing the team’s health as the key factor in making a run.

“We got the pieces. We just have to put it all together. Once we all get healthy and get the opportunity on the field at the same time for a full season, hell yeah, we have a chance to do it,” Watson said on March 15. “We got the defense, the offense, the special teams, the culture, the fanbase. We just got to go do it now.”

Browns Add Second-Round Pick Mike Hall to Defense

Getty ImagesThe Browns drafted DT Mike Hall in the second round to add some youth to their defensive line.

The Browns didn’t make any huge splashes in free agency this offseason. However, the team was able to bring back most of the key pieces from their unit a year ago, including pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith.

Cleveland also selected defensive tackle Michael Hall out of Ohio State with its second-round pick in the draft. Hall adds youth to a unit that skews older with guys like Dalvin Tomlinson, Shelby Harris, and Maurice Hurst.

Hall is setting some lofty goals for himself during his debut season, including being named Defensive Rookie of the Year.

“I feel like anybody has that goal. You’d be a fool not to in this business,” Hall said during rookie camp on May 10.

The Browns will also return reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Myles Garrett. The former No. 1 overall pick collected 14 sacks last season.