DE Takk McKinley
Takk McKinley is currently away from the team due to personal issues. We don’t know what those issues are and we don’t need to know. That’s entirely his business. What we do know, however, is that in the history of football, if you’re not with the team, you can’t actually help the team. If you’re not helping the team, then you’re not going to be on it. That’s the law of the land.
McKinley is a fine player, young enough, versatile (linebacker or defensive end), and has shown the ability to get after the quarterback. The problem is, the Browns can’t dedicate a spot to a player that isn’t with the team.
If Week 1 comes and McKinley is still gone, it’s possible he doesn’t come back. At least not after spending some time as a free agent. The Browns only have 53 roster spots, and sure, maybe they deactivate McKinley and move him to the PUP list, or maybe they place him on IR, but those are for physical injuries, and the NFL may not allow it.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski said he hopes that McKinley is “back” by Week 1. Back, but he’ll have missed nearly six weeks’ worth of practice by that time. What kind of shape will McKinley be coming back in? More so, will he be able to gel in the defense quick enough?
Would the Browns be better served to move on now, and going with a player who’s been here, has been practicing, and is going to be physically ready to help outcome Week 1? After all, let’s say McKinley does come back that Monday for Week 1, he’s at least three weeks away, if not more, from being able to contribute in any real manner.
Cutting McKinley might be the best move forward for the Browns. Not for McKinely, admittedly, but the team has to make tough choices.