Armed with considerable cap space, the Browns’ revamped regime made an early free-agent statement with the signing of Ravens OLB Paul Kruger, widely considered the top pass rusher on the free-agent market. The 27-year-old Kruger agreed to a five-year deal worth $40 million, according to multiple reports.
One of the biggest keys to the defensive surge that helped propel the Ravens to a Super Bowl title, Kruger collected a team-high 13½ sacks in 2012, including 4½ in the postseason. Kruger flourished once he was instructed to focus primarily on pinning his ears back and getting upfield, but he is a versatile player who also sets the edge and plays with great relentlessness and should be an excellent fit in new Browns coordinator Ray Horton’s defense.
As for the division-rival Ravens, the exit of Kruger comes hot on the heels of the trade of fellow playoff stud Anquan Boldin to the Niners.