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Cleveland Browns Free Agent Review: ILB Tank Carder

The veteran linebacker has been with the Browns since 2012.

Cleveland Browns v New York Jets Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images

We continue our look at the Browns’ free agents with ILB Tank Carder.

Cleveland Browns v Tennessee Titans
Tank Carder is coming off of a torn ACL.
Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

How and When He Joined the Browns: Carder was a fifth-round pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2012. When He didn’t make their final roster, and the Browns claimed him off waivers. Cleveland signed him to a two-year contract in 2016.

Productivity Level Last Season: Last season, with the Browns having traded ILB Demario Davis to the New York Jets, Carder became the default option to start at middle linebacker. Unfortunately, during the team’s second preseason game, Carder suffered a torn ACL.

It was thought that Carder being out wouldn’t matter much to the defense, because the perception was that Gregg Williams wouldn’t use three linebackers more than 30% of the snaps in any given week. Wouldn’t you know — Joe Schobert played 100% of the defensive snaps all season and was the team’s only Pro Bowler this past season.

Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: Carder has historically been a reliable special teams player, and new special teams coach Amos Jones could use a stable player right out of the gate. Also, Carder was Williams’ starting middle linebacker for much of last offseason and part of camp, so he has some familiarity as an insurance policy to Schobert.

What the Browns Should Do: I like Carder as a player, but he’s a 29 year-old special teamer who is coming off of a torn ACL. It’s probably not the best investment, and Cleveland found some youth they liked at linebacker last year in Dominique Alexander, James Burgess, and B.J. Bello. Additionally, I imagine that special teams coordinator Amos Jones plans on installing his own system, meaning the continuity with a guy like Carder becomes less important.

If he was retained, just look at the deal he signed in 2016: 2 years for $2.5 million. It’d pretty much be the same thing.

Let us know below whether or not the team should try to re-sign Tank Carder!


Should the Browns re-sign ILB Tank Carder?

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