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Browns Opt Not to Pick Up LB Barkevious Mingo's 2017 Option

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The move is a no-brainer for the Browns. Mingo will now be chasing money in addition to Steelers running backs this season.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst several regime changes, the Browns' top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has persevered and remained on the roster.

His luck might not continue through the next regime.

The Browns have declined the fifth-year option on Barkevious Mingo in 2017, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport and Pro Football Talk, something that we predicted a few weeks ago.

Mingo remains under contract in 2016, to the tune of $5.2 million, according to Spotrac.

Mingo has remained an enigma during his time with the Browns. The 25-year-old 'backer has shown flashes of potential but never any sustained success. In 46 games in three NFL seasons, Mingo has produced just 68 tackles and 7 sacks. Mingo started just two games in 2015, recording just 13 tackles and no sacks.

As others have argued, the Browns have never quite figured out how to use Mingo. "Keke" never hit his stride as an outside rusher in his first two years before former head coach Mike Pettine relegated the former first round pick to coverage duty.

Earlier this month, Tom Reed of Cleveland.com wrote that Mingo has bulked up from a slim 227 pounds in January to 251 pounds in mid-April, so perhaps Mingo is gearing up for another role change.

Either way, as the Browns' move shows, Mingo needs to have an excellent contract year to remain on the roster and earn a solid deal next offseason.