The Browns have informed inside linebacker Karlos Dansby that he will be released. Many Bills fans are interested in possibly signing the 34 year old linebacker due to his obvious familiarity with the Rex Ryan scheme. Dansby played under Pettine in Cleveland and has always been in a hybrid or a 3-4 system.
When you look at his numbers in 2015 you ask yourself why would the Browns cut him? The Browns stated that it was part of the rebuilding process, so they released the veteran two years into a 6 year $24 million dollar deal.
Dansby had a great 2015 for the Browns. According to Pro Football Focus he finished with 94 solo tackles, 50 stops, and three interceptions. So his production hasn’t really fallen off.
“I know a lot of teams are licking their chops right now,” -Karlos Dansby
Dansby was the 6th most efficient tackler in 2015 at the inside linebacker position. Sixty two tackles and 37 of his stops were in the run game and 32 tackles and 13 stops were versus the pass (PFF). The guy was a machine. Dansby was rated as the third best inside linebacker in coverage. He only allowed a catch every 13.8 attempts that he was the primary man in coverage, only backers better were Brian Cushing and Derrick Johnson. He even pitched a shutout by not allowing a single TD while he was the primary man in coverage. In all he was targeted 47 times and allowed 35 catches for 313 yards which sounds like a lot, but the .65 yards per snap that he was in coverage is the third lowest in the NFL. So all in all he is a VERY good linebacker against the run and even better against the pass.
Dansby doesn’t flash on tape like he used to, he has definitely lost a step. But the speed he lost over time he more than makes up for with his read and diagnose skills.
The big question is can the Bills afford him? According to Mike Rodak the Bills currently have a little over $7 million dollars in cap space. They went out and signed a back up tight end today in Jim Dray, so how much money they have left is not exactly known.
Given Dansby’s prior contract and the production that he had in 2015 I don’t see how he doesn’t command at least $6 million a year.
Derrick Johnson who is around the same age just got a new contract that averages $7 million a year. Dansby may only get a two year deal, but he is going to cost a pretty penny.
Williams’ cap number has dropped from $8 million to $6.25 million, while the Bills’ cap space has increased from $5.82 million to $7.57 million, according to NFLPA records. Of that amount, the Bills will need to reserve space to reach deals with their draft picks this summer. ESPN
With the Bills having to allocate around $5 million to the rookie class, there is no way that they can sign the talented inside linebacker. He’s a fit for the scheme but not in their budget in my opinion.