With just days before the NFL Trade Deadline, the Cleveland Browns have a lot of needs if they want to compete in 2022, however rare that would be at 2-5. The team is in an interesting place where a victory against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football could keep their slim hopes alive and change what they do at the deadline.
A loss would almost certainly end any hope for the playoffs this year.
One area of need all season has been at linebacker. Due to the defensive tackles in front of the second-level group struggling, it has been tough for the linebackers to do their jobs well. Even when put in a place to do so, the unit has failed often.
Add on top of that injuries, with Anthony Walker Jr. and Jacob Phillips now out for the year, and the Browns need some reinforcements.
One may have just become available. The Houston Texans released LB Kamu Grugier-Hill after the veteran linebacker made the request. The Texans are moving more and more toward their young players which started to cut into Grugier-Hill’s playing time.
So far this year in six games, the 28-year-old has 40 tackles, one pass defended and one tackle for loss. Last year, Grugier-Hill was a Pro Bowl alternate after a 108 tackle, three sack, five QB hit, three pass defended and two forced fumble season.
With Deion Jones taking over in the middle of the defense and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Sione Takitaki the only other primary linebackers on the team, Grugier-Hill could find playing time relatively quickly in Cleveland.
While not a big name, the Browns defense needs as many quality linebackers as possible if they are going to scratch and claw their way back into the AFC North race. A signing won’t lead to him playing on Monday Night Football but could come shortly after if Cleveland wins.