One thing that has been a hallmark for defenses under Mike Pettine has been inside linebacker. When he was with Rex Ryan in Baltimore, that meant Ray Lewis. When he and Ryan went to the Jets, Pettine is reportedly the man who wanted Bart Scott—badly. Also, it wasn’t until the Bills’ third pick last year, but it was the second round when they found it a priority to go get Oregon’s Kiko Alonso.1 With Mike Pettine coming to Cleveland, it’s safe to assume that the Browns will address the center of their defense.
D’Qwell Jackson, the team’s current middle linebacker and captain, is owed a lot of money this year. If they cut him, it will add about $4.2 million in dead money to the books, but if they keep him, it will cost them over $8 million. Maybe there’s a middle ground and a forthcoming re-negotiation that works for both parties. Craig Robertson had a year. That’s about the best I can say for him. It wasn’t the worst year ever, but it wasn’t the kind of year that will keep anyone thinking he’s much more than a backup.
Between the draft and free agency, I expect that to be a place the Browns make some moves. [Read more...]
- Browns fans should remember Alonso from his athletic leap over the entire goal line scrum to grab Willis McGahee and prevent him from scoring. [↩]