Robert Jackson is returning to the Cleveland Browns after being released earlier this month.
The Browns waived the 27-year-old defensive back on Feb. 12. He played in 10 regular-season games for the Browns — starting two — making six tackles and registering one pass breakup.
Jackson’s time on the field was under a microscope because it came at a crucial time of year in Week 17 and the postseason as the Browns dealt with a bevy of injuries and COVID-19 concerns at the position.
“Put Robert out there and he had a couple of tough matchups, but by and large, he was in position,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters after Jackson started the must-win season-finale against the Steelers. “A couple of things that we can clean up, but all of those guys, I am proud of them for stepping up to the challenge.”
Jackson did get some time in the spotlight when he was called out by Steelers receiver Chase Claypool for flinching on a run play. Jackson gave up a touchdown to Claypool in the Wild Card matchup and registered eight tackles. Jacksonʻs went on injured reserve with a hamstring injury after the Brownsʻ Wild Card victory against the Steelers.
Browns Eager to Add Depth in Secondary
The Browns are expecting Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward to start next season atop the depth chart at cornerback, but both have dealt with injuries.
General manager Andrew Berry said that depth was something the Browns wanted to have at the cornerback position in his season-closing press conference. Jackson could play a role in that with veteran backups Terrance Mitchell and Kevin Johnson hitting free agency this offseason.
“In terms of the position, you can never have enough corners. You really can’t, especially in this defense,” Berry told reporters. “That is always an area that we will want to be deep going into the year. They are hard to find, but it is obviously an area that we want to continue to be deep.”
Second-year safety Grant Delpit is also expected to take over a starting spot after sitting out last season with an Achilles rupture he suffered in training camp.
Former Browns LB Christian Kirksey Released by Packers
Another reunion could be in line for the Browns after inside linebacker Christian Kirksey was released by the Packers this week. Kirksey started all 11 regular-season games he appeared in during his one year with the Packers, finishing tied for No. 2 on the team with 78 tackles, 47 of those solo. His release was a significant cap-saving move for Green Bay, clearing $5.6 million. It will leave behind a dead money charge of $2 million.
The #Packers have released ILB Christian Kirksey and RT Rick Wagner. They will gain $10.25 million in salary cap money with those moves, leaving them with slightly less than $10 million to go to reach the $180 million cap limit.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) February 19, 2021
Injuries continued to hamper Kirksey as he missed five games. He’s played just 20 games over the past three seasons. Kirksey also graded out as one of the worst starting inside linebackers in the league with a grade of 43.9 from Pro Football Focus. He lost his role to Krys Barnes down the stretch.
Kirksey was a leader in the locker room and productive on the field when healthy while with the Browns. He had 138 tackles in 2017 and 148 the year prior to that.
The Browns do have a hole at middle linebacker and will look to re-sign BJ Goodson this offseason. He was solid last season with 91 tackles in 14 starts. While a reunion with Kirksey could be appealing from an emotional standpoint, his injury history makes it a hard sell.
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