Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 3/12/13
CLEVELAND -- The Browns came fast out of the free agent gate Tuesday, agreeing to a five-year deal with linebackerdefensive end Paul Kruger less than an hour after teams could talk contract with players. The signing upgrades the defense, and provides more pass rush help for a unit in transition. Kruger goes from a Super Bowl champion that won 14 games a year ago to one that has 14 wins the past three seasons. In free agency, often its money that matters. Krugers ability to pick his team was a matter of fortuitous timing. Hes not a great player, but hes a good player who could get better. And hes a rich player after agreeing to a 40 million, five-year deal. He happened to hit the market at a time when the Ravens were struggling against the salary cap and the Browns had plenty of room with a need to help the defense. Kruger helps. He had nine sacks last season, and another 4.5 in the playoffs. Many of those came after Terrell Suggs returned from an Achilles tendon injury to the other side of the defense. With Suggs out, Kruger had 1.5 sacks in five games. With Suggs in, Kruger had 12 sacks in 15 games, counting the playoffs. The Browns are banking that at 27 Krugers best year are ahead of him. He fits the Joe Banner model of a player who can solve a problem for several years. Kruger went to Utah and spent two years on a Church mission in Kansas City before he joined the Ravens in 2009. In four seasons, he has six starts -- mainly because hes considered a pass rusher and not a run defender. The Browns need versatility in their new hybrid three-four alignment, and Kruger provides some. He can line up with his hand down at end, or stand at linebacker. He also can move around and rush from different spots. If Jabaal Sheard can make the switch from end to linebacker, the Browns would have two outside players to pressure the passer, and could add another with the sixth pick in the draft. Kruger's addition gets the Jimmy Haslam era off to a fast start. The past two years ans were frustrated at inaction, but Haslam and Banner let little time pass on day one before adding a player to help the defense.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker