Our next free agent review looks at nose tackle Ishmaa'ily Kitchen.
NT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
Browns NT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen tackles Trent Richardson. Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
How and When He Joined the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent, but was released before the start of the season.: In 2012, the Cleveland Browns claimed the massive 6-3, 334 pound defensive tackle from Kent State. Kitchen had been was signed by the
Productivity Level Last Season: Despite only playing in 12 games (3 starts) this past season, Kitchen had the best statistical season of his career by far, notching 43 tackles on the year. He was rated a slightly below average player by Pro Football Focus, but his ranking was pretty respectable, all things considered.
Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: The Browns are probably going to overhaul the defensive line this year, but you don't want to lose too many pieces because you can't overturn a unit that drastically in one offseason. Kitchen is coming off of his best season and he could maintain his role as the backup nose tackle.
What the Browns Should Do: Kitchen is a restricted free agent, which applies to players who have at least three years of accrued service in the NFL (i.e. 6 games or more on the roster or IR). The Browns can choose to place a 1st round tender, 2nd round tender, or original round tender on each player. In 2014, the tenders were $3.113 million for the 1st round tender, $2.187 million for the 2nd round tender, and $1.431 million for original round tenders. These values will rise about 5-10%, per Over the Cap, once the 2015 salary cap is established. Another team can sign a player you place a tender on, but they would owe that team the corresponding draft pick. If these players are not tendered by the start of free agency, they revert to unrestricted free agents.
Kitchen has made the minimum salary in each of his three seasons with the Browns. I don't see the team using an original round tender of $1.431 million on Kitchen. I would let Kitchen become an unrestricted free agent, and then he will probably see what the market is from other NFL teams. If nobody wants him and he'll accept a minimum contract with the Browns for two years, then I'd keep him. If not, the line needs overhauled anyway, so we won't be losing too important of a piece.
Now it's your turn -- vote in the poll below on whether or not the team should try to re-sign Ishmaa'ily Kitchen!