Browns Sign Karlos Dansby
The Browns continued to rebuild their defense on Tuesday, signing ILB Karlos Dansby to a four-year, $24 million deal. Dansby will receive $14 million in guaranteed money and negotiated a front-loaded contract that will pay him $10 million in 2014.
There’s wasn’t much of a market for Dansby’s services a year ago, despite his posting career-high numbers in 2012 with the Dolphins. Dansby racked up 134 total tackles and an impressive nine passes defensed in Miami, but only managed a one-year $2.25 million prove-it deal in Arizona.
Prove it, he did, amassing arguably the league’s most impressive statistical season (aside from perhaps Lavonte David), posting 122 total tackles (114 solo), 6.5 sacks, four picks, two touchdowns, and a staggering 19 passes defensed. Dansby finished the season as fantasy’s No. 2 linebacker in PFF IDP scoring.
Cleveland severed ties with D’Qwell Jackson in the end of February, and got an upgrade in the versatile Dansby, who is a true every-down linebacker capable of playing in both the 3-4 and the 4-3. Dansby is an ideal player for Mike Pettine’s aggressive multiple front scheme.
While Dansby is 32 years old, he’s posted arguably his best seasons in the last two years, so it’s unlikely we’ll see any decline in his play in 2014.
It’ll be tough for Dansby to repeat his 2013 production, but his landing spot does bode positively for his fantasy stock. Last season, the Cleveland home stats crew awarded an average of 129 tackles per game compared to 112 per game for the Arizona crew. Cleveland does have a propensity for more assisted tackles, but it wouldn’t shock me if Dansby posts 140-plus total tackles. It’s fairly safe to slot him as an LB1.
Of course, this move also impacts the IDP landscape in Arizona. Daryl Washington never seemed to get back on track following his suspension to open the season. While this may concern some, Washington is still immensely talented and just 27 years old. With Dansby out of the mix, look for Washington to regain his LB1 form. Because of his 2013 struggles, Washington could end up being one of the better value picks at linebacker come draft season.
It’s not yet certain how Arizona will fill Dansby’s void, but second-year man Kevin Minter is the early favorite to start opposite Washington. The jury is still out on whether Minter will figure into the subpackages, but dynasty owners should pounce on Minter regardless. If he gets a three-down role, Minter will offer immediate LB3-or-better fantasy value.
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Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy.