4 Cleveland Browns playing their way off the roster in 2023

Cleveland Browns, Jacoby Brissett. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns, Jacoby Brissett. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns, Sione Takitaki. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

3. Cleveland Browns LB Sione Takitaki

Another addition in 2019, Sione Takitaki was a third-round pick out of BYU. After a couple of years full of off-field issues, Takitaki got things right and became a star for the Cougars, leading to his selection by Cleveland.

As a rookie, he played sparingly and recorded just 21 tackles. But since then, he’s been more of a fixture in the defense — and has been incredibly underrated.

Takitaki doesn’t make splash plays, so he often flies under the radar. Still, he has 203 career tackles, two sacks, and one pick-six. He also rarely misses tackles, which is a welcome sight for this defense.

In 2022, the Browns were dealt one blow after another at linebacker with Anthony Walker and Jacob Phillips being sent to the IR. Takitaki was then asked to man the MIKE position and he finally started to get the recognition he deserved. He also already topped his career high with 71 tackles on the season.

Unfortunately, he too was injured as he tore his ACL in early December.

Now set for free agency, Takitaki might have a hard time landing a contract before the season begins. That could help him return to Cleveland but chances are high that they could be looking for a complete overhaul of the position. And even with the injury, Takitaki might be able to make more money elsewhere.

It’s clear that general manager Andrew Berry doesn’t like to invest a lot of money at the linebacker position, so Takitaki could be on the way out.