Cleveland Browns Free Agent Review: LB Blake Costanzo

We are currently in process of doing brief reviews of all of the free agents on the Cleveland Browns. Today, we take a look at a key special teams linebacker.

LB Blake Costanzo

How and When He Joined the Browns: He was signed during the 2009 offseason under Eric Mangini's staff. Known as a special teams ace from his days with the Buffalo Bills, Costanzo was expected to fulfill a similar role with the Browns, as he would only play on defense in the event of an injury.

Productivity Level Last Season: Last season might not be the best one to judge Costanzo, who suffered a groin injury and was placed on the injured reserve a little bit past the halfway point of the season. In ten games, he registered 10 tackles and recovered one fumble.

Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: The Browns had some good special teams contributors besides Costanzo last year, led by rookie safety T.J. Ward. With the Browns thin at safety, I'd really like to see Ward taken off of special teams duties. Costanzo has proven that he can be a special teams ace, and the trio of him, Ray Ventrone, and Nick Sorensen has done a great job the past couple of years. Costanzo has been the best of the bunch, being the most aggressive. In 2009, he forced two fumbles and had three fumble recoveries. That's above-and-beyong the norm for a special teamer and can really change the complexion of a few games.

What the Browns Should Do: I'd love to have Costanzo back for the reasons stated above, but I'm not so confident is going to happen. We have a new head coach and a new special teams coordinator. Costanzo already expressed  uncertainty as to where he'll end up this season:

"Not knowing what team you’re going to be on, who’ll be your teammates, where you’re going to be, all the uncertainty kind of stinks," Costanzo said. "But it’s just what comes with what’s going on right now with the lockout. A lot of other guys are in similar situations."

The new front office might have more pressing concerns before they think about keeping a free-agent special teamer, which could allow another team to jump in and snap him up (i.e. the Chargers).

Now it's your turn -- vote in the poll below on whether or not the team should try to re-sign Blake Costanzo!

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