April 18, 2024

Myles Jack: A Potential Solution to the Cleveland Browns’ Linebacker Dilemma


As the NFL enters its dead zone, sandwiched between minicamps, OTAs and the upcoming training camp, the Cleveland Browns find themselves in a peculiar position. While their offseason acquisitions, including the promising addition of Elijah Moore, have garnered praise, the linebacker’s core remains a lingering concern in the minds of passionate Browns fans. In their quest to build a formidable roster, the team must carefully assess their options, and one name that has emerged is Miles Jack.

At 27 years old, Myles Jack’s journey in the NFL began in 2016, when he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the fifth pick in the second round. Despite possessing first-round talent, an early career injury forced him into the second round. Over his six seasons with the Jaguars, the 255-pound linebacker showcased his prowess, amassing an impressive stat line that included 513 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 17 quarterback hits, 6.5 sacks, and 194 defensive stops. Notably, Jack recorded three seasons with 100+ tackles and displayed remarkable durability by playing all 16 games in those years.

In 2019, Jack signed a lucrative four-year extension with the Jaguars, worth $57 million, with $33 million guaranteed. Unfortunately, towards the end of that season, he suffered an ACL injury to his right knee, reminiscent of his college days. Returning in 2020, Jack played 14 games and in 2021, he participated in 15 games. Due to salary cap constraints, the Jaguars released him, leading Jack to sign a two-year, $16 million contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022. Once again, he demonstrated his skills, tallying 104 tackles, three tackles for loss and 28 defensive stops before being released by the Steelers for salary cap reasons.

Myles Jack: A Financial Dilemma for the Cleveland Browns’ Linebacker Position

Myles Jack’s remarkable tackling ability presents a tantalizing opportunity for the Browns to fortify the second level of their defense, complementing their newly revamped defensive line. With a tackle success rate below 10%, Jack’s reliability shines through. Moreover, being a free agent in the prime of his career makes him an enticing prospect for the Browns. A two-year contract worth approximately $5 million per year could be within the reach of General Manager Andrew Berry. 

However, history shows that Berry hasn’t been inclined to splurge on linebackers. The highest salary allocated to a free-agent linebacker during his tenure was $2.1 million for B.J. Goodson. Currently, the Browns dedicate only 5% of their overall salary cap to the linebacker position, ranking 29th in the league. Comparatively, they allocate nearly 20% to the defensive line and 13% to the secondary. This disparity raises concerns given Jack’s history of release due to salary cap constraints and the Browns’ limited financial allocation for linebackers. 

The lingering question remains: Will the Cleveland Browns be willing to pursue Myles Jack despite the potential salary demands? The team’s recent spending on linebackers has hovered around 4% of the salary cap for the past two years. Adding Jack to the roster would solidify the defensive position and strengthen rotational depth. While the Browns possess the necessary salary cap space to accommodate Jack, the decision ultimately rests in the hands of Andrew Berry and his willingness to allocate funds to this critical position.

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