The position was one of the weakest on the roster in 2015 and though P.J. Dawson is expected to get more playing time in his sophomore campaign and Marquis Flowers will be back after spending the 2015 season on Injured/Reserve, the position is one that could use more competition and experience going forward.
Enter, Karlos Dansby.
Dansby was the Browns' leading tackler in 2015, registering 108 combined tackles, 6 passes defensed, 3 interceptions, 2 touchdowns and 2 forced fumbles. Dansby has spent time with with the Cardinals, Dolphins and Browns during his 12 year career in the NFL. During that time he's racked up 1,208 tackles, 41 sacks, 69 passes defensed, 19 interceptions, 6 touchdowns and 18 forced fumbles. Per Cleveland.com, Dansby is the only active player with at least 40 career sacks and 15 interceptions.
Dansby was released by the Browns on Wednesday, and says the Browns told him they're looking to rebuild with youth, which was the reason for his release. "They explained it to me when they called," Dansby said via ESPN. "It's a rebuilding process. I'm cool with that decision. I'm just glad they gave me the opportunity to go see what else is out there for me."
There will likely be some teams interested in Dansby, despite his age (34) and the insider linebacker assumes the Bengals will be one of those teams. Writes Mary Kay Cabot:
"It's time for me to go get a ring,'' Dansby said. "This is going to get me closer to my destiny and I'm cool with that.''
"Yeah, I think the Bengals are licking their chops right now,'' he said. "I hope they are. We'll see what it is."
Dansby seems determined to continue to succeed in the NFL and the kind of production he had on a weak Browns team in 2015 would go much further on a strong Bengals defense. Dansby and Burfict out of the field together could be a strong combination and a dominant force.
"Wherever I go, I know I'm going to be in a better situation to win right now,'' Dansby said. "To even have a shot at it with a system, that's already in place, it's time to move. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it.''
Dansby could be a nice playmaker, knows the AFC North and will likely be out for revenge against the Browns when they meet the Bengals in 2016. Plus, saying he wants to play for the Bengals is nice to hear.
Should the Bengals consider signing the veteran linebacker?