The Green Bay Packers didn’t waste much time moving on from Blake Martinez this offseason in free agency. After rumors of the franchise wanting more athleticism at the linebacker position, they quickly moved to sign former Cleveland Browns starter Christian Kirksey to a two-year deal.
Kirksey, who has had a ton of issues with injuries over the last two years, would absolutely be an upgrade for the Packers if he can stay on the field. Brian Gutekunst loves what he brings to the table and the fans are going to love Kirksey’s skill-set and work ethic.
Following his decision to sign with the Packers, Kirksey revealed why he chose Green Bay out of all of the teams who showed interest in him.
“I just felt like a winning presence,” Kirksey said. “I went to the University of Iowa and it kind of reminded me of that, like the atmosphere. The town had similarities, and also Mike Pettine. I had a great relationship with him. Just seeing how he coached then, he drafted me. It just felt at home. It felt like it was the right decision. Sometimes you can’t stray away from your gut feeling. That’s what I went with was my gut feeling and also just a winning organization. The culture there, I wanted to be a part of.”
After years with the Browns, it would make sense that Kirksey wants to join a franchise who expects to win. The Packers went 13-3 last season and made a run to the NFC Championship Game. Unfortunately, they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 37-20.
Last season with the Browns, Kirksey was only able to play in two games. In 2018, he only played in seven games, although he had 43 tackles, two interceptions, and five defended passes in that limited action.
Back in 2017, Kirksey showed off his potential. He played in all 16 games for the Browns, racking up 138 total tackles to go along with 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and five defended passes.
Kirksey is a linebacker capable of making big-time plays in every aspect of the game. He can rush the quarterback, make sure tackles in the open field, play sideline-to-sideline, and he can drop back in coverage.
Expect to see the Packers’ defense take a big step forward if Kirksey can stay healthy. He has big-time potential and has a major chip on his shoulder to be great in Green Bay.