ESPN's Ed "piping in crowd noise" Werder has his stick in the poop bucket once again, churning the rumor slop. This time around, ole Ed has the Colts, the Browns, and free agent outside linebacker Paul Kruger swishing around together.
Per Werder on ESPN's SportsCenter, the Browns are aggressively attempting to sign the Ravens outside linebacker, who had 9 sacks in 2012 for the World Champs and 15.5 total for his career. However, the Colts also want to sign Kruger, and it seems a potential bidding war may ensue.
Personally, this doesn't make me feel very good.
The contract Kruger is likely to get is a five-year deal worth $60 million, which would pay Kruger roughly $12 mill a year. I think Kruger is a good player, but, as CBS Sports writer Pete Prisco correctly stated, he's more solid than special. $12 mill a year for a "solid" player is not something I'm jumping around my apartment in excitement about.
That said, regardless of whether you choose to believe Werder or not, the news highlights for me that the Colts are looking to spend some of their $41 million dollars in cap space this offseason on a pass rusher. Clearly, a wise policy considering they let their all-time franchise leader in sacks, Dwight Freeney, walk right out the door. G.M. Ryan Grigson knows that he cannot enter 2013 with Robert Mathis and (oh god help us) Jerry Hughes as his primary pass rushers. Last year's defense was as bad, statistically, as the 2011 defense that only won two games.
The defense must improve, and no defense can function properly at the NFL level without a consistent pass rush. That said, it would be unwise to overspend on a player like Kruger when there are potentially other options out there. Cliff Avril being one of them.