Another member of the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens decided to leave for greener pastures. This time it’s Paul Kruger who signed with the AFC North rival Cleveland Browns for five years and an estimated $40 million with $20 million guaranteed.
Kruger was outstanding in 2012 and a key weapon for the Ravens defense registering nine regular season sacks and another 4.5 sacks during the post season.
He was the leading of the pass-rusher as Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis each missed time due to injuries. The 27-year old linebacker seems to have hit his prime, as he had a career high in sacks in 2012, which also was more than his first three seasons combined.
A second round pick out of Utah he compiled 10 sacks and 119 tackles in just two seasons of college football.
The Browns were 5-11 last year and showed signs of potential. Playoffs are in their future with the likes of Trent Richardson, D’Qwell Jackson, Joe Haden, and Josh Gordon on the roster. Each get the chance to develop into solid contributors and possibly stars.
For Kruger he has the opportunity to turn the Browns’ defense into a pass-rushing force if he plays like he did in 2012. With a new coach in Rob Chudzinski and defensive coordinator Ray Horton, the Browns are now looking more like a possible wildcard contender.
This is a solid signing for the Browns, as he could easily amass around 10 sacks in 2013. Kruger’s star shone bright last season and is what got him the big contract with the Browns.Grade: B
[Larry French – Getty Images)]