The Browns signed the linebacker to a four-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed by Cleveland, but Kirkey’s deal is reportedly worth $38 million with $20 million guaranteed, sources told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Kirksey is now the fifth-highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL.
“Christian Kirksey brings a lot to this football team,” said executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown. “He’s another example of a young talented football player that we want to be part of our organization for the long term.
“Chris reflects the hard work and commitment we want in our locker room. He has done everything asked of him since he was drafted and has developed into an impact starter. We are very pleased to get a new deal with him in place. We look forward to watching him continue to emerge as a leader of our team and establish a culture of winning here in Cleveland.”
Kirksey finished third in the league with a career-high 148 tackles last season and played all but two defensive snaps.
The former third-round pick should continue to be a centerpiece for a Browns defense which finished 31st in total defense in 2016, but added the likes of Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers this offseason.
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