The Cleveland Browns are going low-risk, high-reward by checking XFL star Pita Taumoepenu.
The Cleveland Browns are currently in the evaluation stage when it comes to former NFL player and current XFL star Pita Taumoepenu. Taumoepenu just won the 2023 XFL Defensive Player of the Year Award for his performance as part of the Vegas Vipers unit.
A sixth-round pick in 2017, he spent two seasons with San Francisco, then one with Atlanta, and a final with Denver before being out of football for about a year. When the XFL came back, he got picked up by the Vipers and had a nice 2023 season putting up 26 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 8.0 tackles for a loss while playing in 10 games for the Vipers.
That’s not all though, as he also caused four forced fumbles, while also recovering a fumble. The 6’1, 240 LB linebacker would make a nice fit for the Browns, who are looking for play-making depth with the team. It’s very possible that Taumoepenu could in fact be a nice player for the Browns, either as a reserve or as a situational pass-rusher.
But is he worth a roster spot?
The Cleveland Browns don’t have the depth at linebacker to not take Pita Taumoepenu seriously
If this was quarterback, cornerback, or even receiver, sure, you don’t need to hope on a guy like Taumuepenu coming in and making an impact. You have plenty of other talents there, and if they can do what’s expected of them, you’ll be fine.
For the linebacking corp specifically, you’re realistically three-deep, and two of them are coming off of major injuries. We don’t know what Anthony Walker or Sione Takitaki are going to look like after suffering major injuries out there.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has also shown to be one of the better coverage guys in the league, but it’s just as likely that he’ll struggle to apply pressure if he’s blitzed, nor is it a strong possibility that he becomes a huge force against the run. He’s a safety playing close to the line.
Then, the depth behind them, it’s not great. So yes, I really do think someone like Taumoepenu can come into Cleveland and earn himself a spot with the Cleveland Browns.