Now on his third NFL team, Goodson is betting on himself.
“You can sort of say that,” Goodson said Thursday afternoon on a Zoom conference call with reporters. “It was just a great opportunity here in Cleveland. I definitely wanted to be here. The opportunity is a great one. That is just kind of how I saw that.”
Goodson was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Giants but was traded to Green Bay prior to the start of the 2019 season.
Goodson started nine of the 15 games he appeared in for the Packers where he totaled 37 tackles. In his career, he has started 29 of the 52 games he’s appeared in over four seasons registering 160 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
It’s expected that Goodson will replace Joe Schobert, who signed a five-year, $53.5 million contract with Jacksonville, at middle linebacker.
“It is where I see myself playing,” Goodson said. “I love the middle linebacker spot. To be able to call it and to be able to be on both sides on multiple plays, I love playing in the middle.”
Filling Schobert’s shoes is something he feels more than capable of doing.
“I have tremendous, tremendous, tremendous – not to sound arrogant or anything – faith in my game,” Goodson said. “That is not a knock on anyone, as well. They are all great people. We have a great room.”
With Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki entering their second seasons and third-round pick Jacob Phillips entering his rookie year, Goodson is the elder statesman in the linebacker room, almost by default.
“To get these guys better, including myself, for us to be the best linebacker core across the league,” Goodson said. “That is my job, and that is why they brought me here. I am looking forward to that. I am up for the challenge.”
Another reason Goodson signed with the Browns was new defensive coordinator Joe Woods.
“I know him from winning the Super Bowl in Denver and him in San Francisco,” Goodson said. “As far as the scheme goes, I feel like I fit in perfectly, which was another big reason why I decided to come here and chose here. Being able to be aggressive, play aggressive and fly around, I just love it.”
Goodson has been participating in the virtual offseason program through the team’s video conferencing from South Carolina, where he is training.
Team building has been challenging this offseason, but Goodson believes their time on video conferences has been productive enough to prepare them for the field.
“It is hard to explain the camaraderie that comes with the locker room so we are trying to fill that void of us not being around each other. When we are on those calls and things of that nature, guys are trying to let loose, but not be disrespectful, and show their personality. It is important that we all have a feel for each other.”