The Buffalo Bills are reportedly one of three teams that veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey, who was released by the Cleveland Browns on March 10, will visit with prior to the official opening of free agency. Cover 1 tweeted that Kirksey’s visit with Buffalo “is set to take place over the next couple days.”
Kirksey, who turns 28 in August, was originally drafted in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft by Cleveland. At 6’2” and 235 lbs, he has primarily served as an “off the ball” linebacker, though he has been part of multiple fronts and schemes during his tenure in Cleveland. His best seasons came in 2016 and 2017, which is partially notable because it occurred under two different defensive coordinators in two very different defensive schemes.
In 2016, Kirksey played right inside linebacker in Ray Horton’s 3-4 scheme. He totaled 148 tackles, 96 of which were solo stops, to go with 2.5 sacks, three pass deflections, 11 tackles for a loss, and seven quarterback hits. The following season, he was the weakside (“WILL”) linebacker in Gregg Williams’s 4-3 defensive scheme, and he once again flourished. He made 138 tackles, 86 of which were solo stops, adding 3.5 sacks, five pass deflections, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, six tackles for a loss, and six quarterback hits.
Unfortunately for Kirksey, that 2017 season is the last one where he was able to play 16 games. In 2018, he only played in seven games before landing on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury. In 2019, Kirksey only played in two games before he went on injured reserve thanks to a chest injury.
On March 11, Kirksey reportedly met with the Las Vegas Raiders (that’s still very weird to type, by the way). On March 12, Kirksey was set to meet with the Green Bay Packers, who have a huge need at linebacker.
There is no confirmed date for a meeting between Kirksey and the Bills. When that date becomes known, we will update you accordingly.