Packers bring in Christian Kirksey for free agent visit

The inside linebacker has dealt with several injuries in recent years. 

From NFL Network:

Kirksey has dealt with injuries the last two seasons. He visited the Las Vegas Raiders on Wednesday, but left there without a contract.

The free agent linebacker played for Mike Pettine when Pettine was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2014 and 2015.

Here's a good breakdown of his game.

4 points

Comments (15)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Spock's picture

March 12, 2020 at 10:21 am

Injury history is a big red flag but I'm glad Gute is doing his diligence on bringing these guys in. Pettine must think he's okay if the Packers had him at least come in for a quick talk.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Stroh's picture

March 14, 2020 at 03:59 pm

More than a quick talk, I'm sure they were more interested in his medical check and physical. Pettine already knows him so I'm sure they won't need to explain his job too much. Might include some film review but the big thing is the medial/physical.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

March 12, 2020 at 10:30 am

Haven't we had enough of the failures at LB?

+ REPLY
-1 points
2
3
Houndog's picture

March 13, 2020 at 07:56 am

Not to disagree with you Stockholder, but I'm not sure 'Failure' is an accurate description of this guy. He's had some injuries that have kept him off the field.
How would you feel if J J Watt was a FA?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
scullyitsme's picture

March 12, 2020 at 12:05 pm

I like it. Bigger upside than Martinez, especially in coverage, and probably on a prove it deal. Also knows petines system. But like always, at the right price, he makes a lot of sense.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Lare's picture

March 12, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Sounds like Kirksey has been a pretty productive ILB when healthy.

In 2016 playing in a 3-4 defense he led the Browns with 148 combined tackles (96 solo), 2.5 sacks, and three pass deflections in 16 games and 16 starts.

In 2017 the Browns switched to a 4-3 defense and he finished the season with 136 combined tackles (86 solo), five pass deflections, and 3.5 sacks in 16 games and 16 starts.

2018- IR with a hamstring injury.

2019- IR with a chest injury.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Lphill's picture

March 12, 2020 at 01:05 pm

Maybe they get him and Kwitnikowski.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

March 12, 2020 at 07:11 pm

It's unlikely that they will pay both of them...only one. They're not very different.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Stroh's picture

March 14, 2020 at 04:06 pm

Similar maybe, but I think Kwiatkowski is more of the SILB and playcaller (a la Martinez), while Kirksey would be the chase and coverage LB or WILB. They would compliment each other really well IMO and alleviate having to use a hybrid S/ILB to a large degree, which would improve the run D. But I agree in that I doubt they sign both.

With Kirksey coming off 2 injury filled seasons he would probably be on a one year prove it deal, while Kwiatkowski would get a long term contract.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Stroh's picture

March 14, 2020 at 05:41 pm

Here's Kirksey's combine description. "Small-framed, athletic, finesse, run-around Will linebacker who will have to stand out on special teams to earn a reserve spot."

And Kwiatkowski... "Kwiatkoski provides as a highly active, tough middle 'backer." Known for a mean streak and ability to finish as a tackler. Tough play demeanor."

IMO that sounds like 2 very complimentary players. Again I doubt they sign both but if they do might be able to get them for a combined 8 or 9M. And it would eliminate the need to start a rookie at ILB.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
mbpacker's picture

March 12, 2020 at 04:48 pm

Lets hope that Gute and his staff are doing their homework on this. But, yeah, injuries the last two years bring out the red flags for me too! Wonder if we should see what other fish swim by before snagging the first one.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

March 12, 2020 at 07:08 pm

I don't know why you call him the first fish. Several guys out there who have been cut--and are the same kind of player--that could be signed right now at no compensatory pick penalty.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

March 12, 2020 at 11:31 pm

You'd have to kick the tires pretty hard after he missed 14 games last year, but if he appears sound he looks like an awfully good pickup.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
greengold's picture

March 13, 2020 at 09:37 am

If he's healthy, he would make a very positive impact on both our run D and coverage over the middle of the field. Christian Kirksey may be the most complete player at ILB in all of Free Agency, run/pass coverage/pressure/tackles. He's a pretty dynamic player with the size and speed (4.58 compared to Blake's 4.71) to play every down. His experience and best years working with Pettine a big plus.

In just 7 games 2018 prior to injury, Kirksey had 5 PDs and 2 INTs, both returned for TDs. Blake Martinez had just 5 PDs in the last two FULL SEASONS, 1 INT.

Some guys have coverage abilities, and others do not. Kirksey good with the hustle plays too, about double that of Martinez in FF and FR. He was trending upwards, and his injury history might make him a good value signing, especially if he's healthy now. Put together 4 16 game seasons prior to 2018, so he has shown durability in the past.Should cost far less than Littleton. And, this is where the rubber meets the road. The Packers have other areas of need calling out for those cap dollars to be spent best as possible.

Littleton is the FAR superior player in pass coverage, while Kirksey has shows moderate-good skills there while being the far superior run defender. Run D is the bigger priority in GB right now, a touch more important to the coverage issues. Seems Kirksey might be exactly what GB needs, and may actually play better if the Packers can also bring in a player like. Michael Pierce to both back up and play alongside Clark. Guess same could be said for Littleton though should GB choose him instead. Not sure GB could afford to add Littleton AND a DL in FA, but I trust Gutekunst and Ball to work their magic.

All I know is it would be nice to see great play in the middle of our Packers defense again... when was the last time we had that, exactly??? Nitschke? Seems that far back. Wayne Simmons/Koonce/Harris??? Woodson was a Swiss Army knife back there playing hybrid before hybrid was a thing...

Doing some due diligence, F'n A!!! AJ Hawk had a stellar season in coverage 2010. 10 PDs, 3 INTs... his best season in coverage. Hmmm..... won the SB that season... makes you think... Hawk's best season was when we added BJ Raji and Clay Matthews to the already stellar Ryan Pickett. That was a hell of a defensive front to allow LBs to make their plays. Add in the Super Bowl unsung hero Howard Green backing up Raji! That's the level of talent infusion our current NT and DE positions require this year along with ILB.

Kenny Clark currently has no one of significance backing him up and he's taking too many snaps over the past two seasons.

Regardless, Kirksey could be a big boost to this team, as could Littleton. Kwiatkowski and Schobert too. Hoping for the best.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Stroh's picture

March 14, 2020 at 03:09 pm

I like Kwiatkowski better myself. He's a more natural LB who even if he didn't test particularly well moves easily and fluidly and he plays with physicality and violence. He can stuff the run and is good in coverage as well. If they can get Kwiatkowski for 5 or 6M per I'd be down w/ that. He'll be an instant upgrade over Martinez! Maybe Kirksey as the fall back plan, but his injury history recently is a big strike against him.

Forget signing Littleton and Schobert both would be much more expensive and wouldn't be more productive than Kwiatkowski.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.