Less than a week after the Cleveland Browns cut Christian Kirksey loose, he has a new team. Mike Garafolo was among the first to break the news that the linebacker has been signed by the Green Bay Packers, via Twitter.
According to Garafolo, Kirksey’s agents were the ones to announce the deal. He’s signed for two years and is getting $8 million per year, according to those agents.
As The Inquisitr reported earlier this week, it’s been kind of a whirlwind period for the former Browns’ team captain. He was released in the middle of last week, just a few days after Cleveland also let Joe Schobert go. Not an hour after he became a free agent, there were several teams talking to him.
Those teams were at first unknown, but it became clear the Las Vegas Raiders, Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers were going after him the hardest.
The signing comes just as teams are really starting to figure out what their rosters will look like next season. This is the day when organizations can officially place franchise tags on players they want to keep under contract, even if it’s only to deal them later on.
By cutting Kirksey loose last week, the Browns actually did him a favor, as he was able to talk to other teams freely before the rest of the NFL. It’s not a coincidence he wanted to get a deal done before teams like the Packers knew who else was out there for sure.
By signing the linebacker, Green Bay gets a player that was notable both on and off the field. As noted, he was the team’s defensive captain in 2019, despite playing in just two games this season and just seven the year before. When he’s healthy, he’s someone who can deliver more than 100 tackles a season.
In his first two years as a full-time starter with Cleveland — 2016 and 2017 — he recorded 148 and 138 tackles, respectively. Not really known as a sack master, he did also get 2.5 and 3.5 sacks in those seasons.
If Kirksey is fully healthy for the first time in three years, he should be able to boost a defense that was ranked in the middle of the pack last season. A resurgent Green Bay squad managed to make the NFC Championship game with that middling defense. Revamping it could help Aaron Rodgers make one more Super Bowl. At least, that was presumably the goal of the Packers when they signed Christian Kirksey on Monday.