Despite being one of the Cleveland Browns’ best tacklers in the last four years, the cutting of Christian Kirksey was the right call all things considered.
Christian Kirksey was a great tackler but when you can’t stay healthy, you can’t expect to get paid regularly. Which is why the Browns cut him on Tuesday. Kirksey though was someone the team could’ve relied on to fill a hole or two on defense had the team decided to run the crew back. Joe Schobert could’ve moved outside and Kirksey would’ve been the man in the middle, but when Schobert wasn’t re-signed, the team’s future became clear and it became obvious what they were going to do.
Cutting Kirksey makes sense considering the Browns are rehauling their entire defense. Right now, only Greedy Williams, Denzel Ward and Myles Garrett are expected going to come back. This could change, obviously. Trade bust Oliver Vernon, set to make $16.5 in 2020, has yet to be cut but many expect him to be. If the team doesn’t cut Vernon, but let Schobert and Kirksey walk, then fans will rightfully have a case to be upset. The team is selling this idea on a revamped defense and clearing as much cap space as possible for the 2020 off-season.
This can’t be the narrative if you retain Vernon.
The team did try to restructure Kirksey’s deal, and did offer Schobert a deal to return, but neither the restructured deal for Kirksey or the new offer to Schobert were well-received by the players and thus are now gone. According to various sources, Schobert has a lot of suitors, the biggest being Green Bay. Kirksey, on the other hand, allegedly, has three teams interested in him already.
The Browns front office now have to fill at least two holes in the receiving corp, two tight ends, three starting and two back up offensive linemen, three defensive line starters, a few backups, three starting linebackers, and two starting safeties.
But it’s not a rebuild.