1. Sione Takitaki, Linebacker
One of the more underrated players on the roster for the past four seasons has been Sione Takitaki. The BYU product quietly racked up 203 tackles, two sacks, and a pick while primarily playing on the strong side for Cleveland.
It wasn’t until injuries forced him into the MIKE role this past season that fans realized just how good he is. Unfortunately, he was also lost to an injury and a torn ACL ended his breakout campaign.
Now entering free agency, he feels like a top priority to re-sign. Not only does he give them much-needed depth and versatility at a position of weakness, but he’s the one linebacker they can count on to bring the ball carrier down with consistency.
In his four seasons in the league, Takitaki has been one of the lowest on the team in terms of missed tackle percentage. In fact, this past season was the worst of his career and he missed just 7.8 percent.
Compare this to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah who missed 17.4 percent as a rookie and 10.3 percent last season and you see just how important it is to have a guy that doesn’t let the ball carrier get away once he wraps them up.
The good news is, all three of these players should be easy to retain. Cleveland just has to figure out how to make it work in the salary cap while still being able to afford upgrades at other spots.