Former Iowa Hawkeye linebacker Christian Kirksey has left the only NFL team he's ever played for and signed a free-agent contract with the Green Bay Packers. Kirksey was a third-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2014.

Kirksey exploded onto the scene in 2016 when he started all 16 games, registered 148 tackles, 11 for a loss, and had 2.5 sacks. He dipped a bit in 2017 but still had 138 tackles and 3.5 sacks.  In 2018, Kirksey started nine games before suffering a hamstring injury and being placed on injured reserve. He was released by Cleveland in 2020 after refusing to rework his contract.

Kirksey's deal with the Packers appears to be a 2-year contract worth $16 million. Green Bay is looking for a replacement for inside linebacker Blake Martinez who apparently will walk in free agency. $8 million a year seems a bit much for a player who only played 9 games the past 2 seasons. This likely won't be the only move the Packers make at that position in free agency.


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