The Cleveland Browns cut an inside linebacker prior to free agency.
Within minutes of free agency’s start, they reached agreement with an inside linebacker.
And he’s older than the one they cut.
The new regime must like Karlos Dansby, though, because they made him one of their first additions in free agency. The former Cardinals linebacker agreed to a four-year deal worth $24 million, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The deal is worth $2 million more than the one D'Qwell Jackson signed to join the Colts. Dansby will get $14 million guaranteed, according to sources.
Dansby is considered a more physical version of Jackson. He broke up 19 passes in 2013, had four interceptions and two defensive touchdowns to go with 6.5 sacks. But he is two years older than Jackson, and ESPN’s Bill Polian had Dansby rated lower in his free-agency tracker. Polian says Dansby still can play, but his age is a factor. Polian calls him a “big, tough, instinctive” linebacker.
The Cardinals let him go because of money. They like him as a player but don’t know how much longer he’ll be able to play at the level he’s at. They judged him not worth what he was demanding and eventually getting, much like the Browns judged Jackson not worth the money.
Dansby joins his third team. He spent time with the Cardinals and Dolphins before rejoining the Cardinals last season. According to ESPN Stats & Information, he has had more than 100 tackles four of the past five seasons, with 95 in the one season he didn’t get 100. His 6.5 sacks were his highest single-season total since 2006, and his four interceptions were a career high.
He signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with Arizona last season after leaving Miami, so he made the most of his contract year.
The Browns had to add an inside linebacker because of the decision with Jackson. They did, and the guy they got is a solid, aggressive player, even if he is a little older.