3 Replacements for Christian Kirksey the Browns Should Target in Free Agency
The Cleveland Browns moved on from Christian Kirksey today, opting to release the six-year veteran linebacker. While he's been a serviceable playmakers when on the field, racking up 286 tackles from 2016-17, however, he's only played in a combined nine games over the two subsequent seasons.
With Joe Schobert also at risk of walking in free agency this offseason, the Browns clearly need to revamp their LB corps. With that in mind, here are three players they should target to replace Kirksey in free agency.
1. Kamu Grugier-Hill
Far from the flashiest name on the market, Kamu Grugier-Hill could be a solid, low-cost option for Cleveland. While he's not great in coverage, he got a 67.3 grade from Pro Football Focus as a run defender – putting him inside the top 50 at the position. Both Schobert and Kirksey also excel against the run, and Grugier-Hill could replace some of that production while also allowing the Browns to target other big-name options on the open market.
2. Cory Littleton
With the seventh-most projected cap space in the NFL, Cleveland can afford to make a sizable investment on the right player. While Cory Littleton might not be a household name yet, he probably should be. Among linebackers who played at least 800 snaps, only five players had a higher PFF grade than Littleton's 78.9. If Cleveland wants to revamp its linebacking corps quickly, signing Littleton is its best bet.
3. Kevin Pierre-Louis
Kevin Pierre-Louis has only started four games in his NFL career. While he's not nearly as experienced as most other linebackers on the market, he played extremely well down the stretch. He posted the second-highest coverage grade of all LBs with at least 200 snaps played, per PFF. While that efficiency could've been due to his limited playing time, Pierre-Louis could be a worthwhile gamble for an LB-needy team like Cleveland.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.