The Browns made their splash!
The Browns were able to land one of the prized pass rushing linebackers in free agency as they signed former Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger after free agency opened Tuesday.
Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun said the Browns were “closing in on” Kruger earlier Tuesday before the 4 p.m. official free agency opening.
The Browns were reported to be in the mix for several other free agents as the free agency period kicked off including tight end Jared Cook, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn among others.
The OBR’s Lane Adkins had reported last Saturday that the Browns were talking with Kruger’s representatives once the time frame opened for teams to talk with agents began.
Kruger tied for 10th in the AFC with 9 sacks in 2012 and also had 4.5 in the playoffs. Among linebackers, Kruger was behind just three: Bronco’s Von Miller (18.5), Chiefs Justin Houston (10) and Chargers Shaun Phillips (9.5). Kruger was tied with the Chiefs Tamba Hali.
Kruger (6-4, 270) was a second-round draft choice of the Ravens in the 2009 NFL Draft. Ironically, he was taken 57th overall, after three different second-round choices by the Browns (Brian Robiskie, Mohamed Massaquoi and David Veikune) who have all departed the Browns. Massaquoi was with the team last season, but is a free agent and not expected to return.
Kruger had 5.5 sacks during the 2011 regular season and one in the AFC Championship game against Tom Brady as a situational pass rusher. 2012 was his breakthrough season with 42 tackles in the regular season, including nine sacks and a fumble recovery. In the post-season, he helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl with 14 tackles in the playoffs, including 4.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.