The Cleveland Browns and linebacker Christian Kirksey agreed to a four-year, $38 million contract extension. The deal includes $20 million in guaranteed money.
The move also continues the Browns strong offseason of bringing in new talent and ensuring they keep the little talent that they already had on their roster.
Kirksey, a former standout at Iowa, has been one of the few bright spots on th Browns defense over the past few seasons. While the Browns were just 1-15 in 2016, Kirksey had one of his best seasons as a pro recording 148 tackles and adding 2.5 sacks.
Locking up Kirksey on a defense that has seen a tidal wave of talent come to the shores of Lake Erie should set the Browns defense up to compete in the coming years.
The Cleveland Browns have hired Ryan Grigson as a Senior Personnel Executive. He will report to Vice President of Player Personnel Andrew Berry, who once worked under him in Indianapolis while Grigson was the Colts general manager.
On the teams website, Executive Vice President of Football Operations gave Grigson a glowing review,”Ryan brings valuable experience to our personnel group,” said Brown. “He was raised as a road-scout and has been evaluating talent in this league for almost 20 years. We place a premium on that experience and on his passion for football. Ryan has much to offer to any personnel department and we are pleased that he chose to join our staff.”
Grigson was the Colts GM from 2012-16 and was named NFL Executive of the Year in his first season when he drafted Andrew Luck and changed the teams fortunes after they lost Peyton Manning. In the seasons after, he struggled to build a roster around the teams franchise quarterback and eventually was shown the door.
While he was a terrible GM, in my opinion, he will not be the decision maker in Cleveland, just another experienced voice. It’ll be a role that will best suit his skill set in talent evaluation, something he showed a decent ability to do while working with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Cleveland Browns and number one overall pick Myles Garrett have agreed to terms on a four-year rookie contract worth $30.4 million.
As he was putting pen to paper Garrett chose to have “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal playing in the background. Hopefully, like “Kiss From a Rose”, Garrett will become a classic from the 1990’s.
The team made a slew of other moves as well on Friday as they signed DL Caleb Brantley to four-year deal, just days after he had battery charges against him dropped. They also waived DL Gabe Wright and claimed OL Chris Barker off of waivers from the New England Patriots.
In April, the Cleveland Browns took a chance on talent over trouble when they selected Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley in the 6th round of th 2017 NFL Draft.
On Wednesday, their chance, and his chances of making the team out of training camp, improved when the former Gator had his misdemeanor battery charge dismissed. Brantley was accused of striking a woman and allegedly knocked her unconscious.
According to a report, the Florida state attorney’s office concluded its investigation into Brantley and determined that there was not sufficient evidence to charge him.
Originally considered a late first to mid second round pick, Brantley’s off field issues led him to a massive slide into the sixth round. The incident cost Brantley a massive sum of money and is a black mark on his character that he will have to work extremely hard to make people move on from.
The Cleveland Browns and free agent CB Jason McCourty have agreed to a two-year deal on Tuesday, according to various reports.
McCourty, an eight-year veteran, was formerly with the Tennessee Titans.
The addition of a veteran presence will help the Browns young and lackluster secondary as McCourty can play at cornerback or at free safety where the Browns have been searching for a starter since losing Tashaun Gipson in free agency prior to the 2016 season.
According to NFL Network reporter Courtney Fallon, McCourty has told her that he is signing a two-year, six million dollar deal with two million guaranteed to come to Cleveland.
With rookie camp set to begin tomorrow, the Cleveland Browns have gotten three of their 10 drafted rookies under contract, the team announced on Thursday.
Howard Wilson, a fourth-round pick from Houston, Rod Johnson, a fifth-round selection from Florida State, and Matthew Dayes, a seventh-round pick from North Carolina State, all agreed to terms on their first NFL contracts.
Wilson, a cornerback, was the 126th overall pick in the 2017 draft, and will have a chance to work into the mix in the secondary early in his career. Johnson, pick number 160, is a prototype tackle who needs to refine his game if he wants to stick in the NFL. Dayes, the second to last pick in the draft at 252 overall, will be thrown into the Browns crowded backfield and may have to find a spot on special teams in order to stick on the 53-man roster.
After the NFL saw a slew of players having their careers and eligibility reinstated by the league, many believed that Cleveland Browns wide reciever Josh Gordon would be next. On Thursday, however, the NFL announced that they did not feel Gordon was ready for that step and denied reinstatement for the former second-round selection in the 2012 supplemental draft.
Gordon, who has not played in a regular season game in more than two seasons, was once the brightest star on the Browns roster, but how quickly that star has faded. After having a career year in 2013, where he caught 87 balls for 1646 yards and nine scores in just 14 games, was voted to the Pro Bowl and joined Calvin Johnson as a first team all-pro at his position above players like Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, and AJ Green, Gordon has done nothing but waste his talent. Those three players are headed into next season scheduled to make over $46 million combined, while Gordon, who is still under contract for multiple seasons with the Browns on a rookie deal, will make nothing in the NFL.
For more of my thoughts on Gordon, check out OAB365.
The Cleveland Browns selected Charlotte defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi with the first pick in the third round, 65th overall, in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The senior interior lineman is 6’3″ and 305 pounds and very athletic for a man his size. He had 13.0 career sacks in his career and showed that he can not only get to the passer but also set the edge in the run game. He plays with a low center of gravity and has great hands. He will be thrown into the mix on a deep defensive line squad and could start between Danny Shelton and Myles Garrett.
The son of Nigerian immigrants, Ogunjobi did not start playing football until his sophomore year of high school.
Cleveland does not have anymore picks on day two of the draft, they will not pick again until the 5th round (145 overall).
With the 52nd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer.
Kizer a 6’4″, 233 pound, redshirt sophomore from Toledo, Ohio, was looked at by some as the number one quarterback in the draft at the beginning of the scouting process. He looks the part of a QB with size, strength, and above average arm talent, but he does not come without issues.
His issues are the reason many dropped him to their fourth ranked QB in this draft and that he slid out of the first round to 52nd overall in the second round. He has severe mental lapses. He holds the ball too long at times and takes unnecessary sacks in a clean pocket. He lets his mechanics go to the wayside and throws the ball all over the field and that is why he had an interception in 15 of 23 starts.
Overall, it is really a low risk, high reward draft pick and could pan out nicely. To this point the Browns have done an excellent job in acquiring talent, gaining four very good players and first round pick next year.
The Browns will pick next at 65 overall, the first pick of the third round.
After the Browns moved back into the first round last night to select tight end David Njoku, Gary Barnidge, being the excellent human being and teammate that he is, tweeted out a welcome to the rookie.
Less than 18 hours later, Barnidge sent out another tweet that shows the awful truth of the NFL as he said goodbye to the team that gave him his chance to showcase his talents.
Barnidge, a pro bowl player in 2015, was not as good in 2016 with less than 630 yards recieving. In fairness, nobody was good on the Browns in 2016.
The move isn’t that surprising after the addition of Seth DeValve in the 2016 draft and Njoku in 2017. The Browns as a team are getting younger with only four players above the age of 28 and Barnidge was being pushed out by the rookies, so rather than leave him on the roster as a mentor who wouldn’t see the field much, the team has let him go so that he has time to join someone else and for his sake, hopefully win.
Barnidge was a good player during his time in Cleveland, but was an amazing man in the community off of the field. His twitter page was always full of fan interaction, including chances for movie nights with his teammates and a group of lucky fans.
OAB365 and this writer wish Barnidge the best in the future.
The Cleveland Browns added a third first round pick on Thursday night as they traded the first pick of the second round, 33rd overall, and the first pick of the fourth round, 108 overall, for the Green Bay Packers first round pick, 29th overall.
With the pick the Browns selected athletic tight end David Njoku from the University of Miami. More of receiver than a blocker, Njoku is an athletic freak at 6’4″ and 246 pounds. He has the ability to find the soft spot in the zone and creates great separation. He has improved as a blocker but still struggles while working as an inline tight end.
The Browns next pick will be at 52nd overall.
With the 25th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected S/LB Jabrill Peppers from the University of Michigan.
Peppers, a Heisman trophy finalist in 2016, played nearly every position with the Wolverines, and was the Big 10 defensive player of the year. He will likely play as a in the box strong safety in the Greg Williams led Browns defense in a role similar to that of Mark Barron with the Rams last season.
He is a playmaker with the ball in his hands, but does not have great ball skills in the secondary. Williams will likely use him in a variety of roles, in the box, as a nickel corner, and as a blitzing safety.
On the field, he is an energizing difference maker and can be an immediate difference maker.
The negative on Peppers, other than his choice of college, is that his drug test at the combine, where he did both linebacker and secondary drills, came back as diluted.