Cleveland Browns: 5 players who could be on their way out

Cleveland Browns (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Christian Kirksey (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Christian Kirksey

This one hurts. If Christian Kirksey is healthy, then he and Joe Schobert could shore up the middle of the defense on their own.  They’re both tackling machines, and able to cover the flats on pass plays. Neither are great at pass-rushing or at least have never been given the opportunity, so that’s a knock against keeping both. Yet, if Myles Garrett is allowed back, and the Browns improve the opposite side of the line, the hope is that you won’t need to do any blitzing.

Kirksey is heading into his last year on the four-year deal he signed in 2017, and at only $7 million, he’s not the most likely of candidates to get let go. He could be on the chopping block if a surprise name gets released by another team. If Cleveland wants to make room under the cap to go get that potential player, then Kirksey could be sacrificed to save a few bucks. Right now, there aren’t any real linebackers on the free agent wire that stir confidence that they could be as good, if not better than Kirksey.

The issue wit Kirksey isn’t about talent. He’s phenomenal. It’s the fact he can’t stay healthy. He’s only played 28% of games in two years. Who’s to say that after two straight years finishing out on the IR, that he’s even the same athlete anymore. Does he still have the same quickness and the same durability? Was this a freak string of injuries, or a sign that his body can’t handle the day in and day out rigors of pro football?

Kirksey is one of the few talents on this list that deserves to be retained. He’s not a trouble maker, he’s a solid to potential Pro-Bowl caliber player and combined with Denzel Ward, Schobert and Garrett, he could really give the Browns a strong top-five defense. At the end of the day, if you can’t stay on the field, you can’t help the team. If that’s the case, it’s time to open up the roster spot so that someone who’s healthy can be available if needed.

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