The Cleveland Browns released veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey on Tuesday.
The Browns attempted to renegotiate Kirksey’s agreement yet released him after the sides couldn’t go to an agreement, a source told ESPN. He was because of making $7.75 million in base pay this season, and $8.25 million in 2021. Releasing him will save the Browns generally $6.58 million in cap savings this offseason.
Kirksey wrote in a tweet that he would be “forever grateful” for his time with the Browns.
Kirksey tore his pectoral muscle in Week 2 a year ago against the New York Jets and was placed on harmed hold for the rest of the season. Rookie Mack Wilson began for Kirksey in Cleveland’s final 14 games.
The Browns selected Kirksey in the third round of the 2014 draft out of Iowa.
He was a five-year starter for Cleveland going into last season, incorporating 484 career tackles, 11.5 sacks and 2 interceptions in six seasons.
“Christian Kirksey has been a vital member of our organization for the last six seasons because of his contributions on and off the field,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a statement. “He has been a strong leader both in our locker room and in the Cleveland community. These are difficult decisions and, in Christian’s case, more challenging because of how well he has represented our team. We thank him for his dedication and wish him nothing but the best in the next phase of his career.”