Linebacker is a key position of improvement for the Cleveland Browns, as the team either needs a huge playmaker against the run or a pass-rushing blitz-hound. Sione Takitaki is neither of these, but like another name on this list, when we talk about improving the linebacking corp, that doesn’t mean losing him or other names.
The way you improve the linebacking corp is to use common sense. If you re-sign Takitaki, he’ll either be your weakside outside linebacker or your middle linebacker depending on how many linebackers actually get re-signed. If you retain Anthony Walker, Takitaki becomes the weak-side linebacker opposite of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. If you don’t retain Walker, Takitaki moves inside and you go get a blitz-happy guy opposite of Owusu-Koramoah.
There exists a third and very possible situation as well; the defense switches to a 3-4. In this instance, Takitaki would move inside, Owusu-Koramoah would move to safety, while Chase Winovich moves from end to outside linebacker, and Anthony Walker gets moved around as needed.
Now, we’ll be talking more about Walker and Winovich eventually, but for now, just know that Takitaki is the lynchpin for keeping the defensive unit as sound as possible. He may not be a big-time playmaker but his versatility and solid skillset aren’t exactly easy to find.