Just one season removed from an 11-sack campaign, the Browns released edge rusher Paul Kruger. Lacking depth at the outside linebacker position after the Junior Galette injury in July, Kruger might make sense in Washington.
Kruger signed with the Browns in 2013 for a big-money contract (5 years/$40 million) after a successful start to his career with the Ravens. In Baltimore, Kruger rushed the quarterback opposite Terrell Suggs, freeing him up for 15.5 sacks in four years. His breakout season came in 2012, when the Ravens won the Super Bowl and Kruger logged nine sacks.
While he never lived up to the money in Cleveland, Kruger did have a strong year in 2014 when he totaled 11 sacks. Last year, however, his sack total dropped to just 2.5, leaving few surprised by his release from the Browns.
What happens next for Kruger will be interesting. At 30-years-old, the former second-round pick out of Utah likely still has good football left, and could be available to a team on a one-year, incentive type deal.
Specifically in Washington, GM Scot McCloughan may be interested to inquire about Kruger. Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith are top-form outside linebackers, but after that, the Redskins roster boasts few sure things at the position. Trent Murphy is capable, not spectacular, and the fourth OLB spot could be manned by a player like Houston Bates or Lynden Trail. Even in a diminished role, Kruger can compete with the group behind Kerrigan and Smith.
Some on the Redskins staff hinted while in Richmond that the team would look outside the organization for help on the edge as cuts started to happen around the league. Kruger is just one name - and there will be plenty more - but he's a name that has some intrigue.
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