No more than an hour and a half before the news broke, DBN’s Mike Hoag wrote an article about LB Christian Kirksey, saying, “the Cleveland Browns are running out of reasons to not re-sign or extend linebacker Chris Kirksey after his career season in 2016.” Apparently, upon reading it, the Browns acted quickly!
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network broke the news that Kirksey is signing a 4-year extension worth $38 million with $20 million guaranteed. The deal will keep Kirksey with the club through the 2021 season.
#Browns ILB Christian Kirksey is signing a 4-year contract extension worth $38M with $20M guaranteed, sources say. 148 tackles last year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 30, 2017
With his 4-yr, $38M deal, #Browns ILB Christian Kirksey is the 5th highest paid player at his position. He believes in what CLE is building.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 30, 2017
A few minutes later, the Browns confirmed that Kirksey signed his extension:
This is fantastic news for the Browns, who have been able to keep several core players who potentially could have waited for bigger deals elsewhere. The only player they were not been able to retain in 2017 was wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, but that was not for a lack of trying and he ended up coming out of that situation looking like a bit of a hypocrite, considering how much he preached his love for the team.
Quotes from Sashi Brown
“Christian Kirksey brings a lot to this football team. He’s another example of a young talented football player that we want to be part of our organization for the long-term. Chris reflects the hard work and commitment we want in our locker room. He has done everything asked of him since he was drafted and has developed into an impact starter. We are very pleased to get a new deal with him in place. We look forward to watching him continue to emerge as a leader of our team and establish a culture of winning here in Cleveland.”
Quotes from Chris Kirksey
“First and foremost I want to thank the Haslams for this opportunity and the organization for believing in me. Hue Jackson has been telling me from day one that I have a chance to be a great player in this league and for them to offer me this contract speaks volumes. I am glad to be here and to be a Brown for a long time. This is my home. This is where I want to be. I love my teammates and we are ready to get this thing rolling. I am excited for the future.”
When more details become available, we will do a full breakdown of Kirksey’s extension and how it compares to other linebackers in the NFL, along with an updated look at the team’s cap space. And even though the post is already a little bit of “old news,” I encourage you to check out Mike’s post from earlier on why the Browns should [and did] sign Kirksey!