The Browns tried to renegotiate Kirksey’s contract but released him after the sides couldn’t come to an agreement, a source told ESPN. He was due to make $7.75 million in base salary this season, and $8.25 million in 2021. Releasing him will save the Browns roughly $6.58 million in cap savings this offseason.
Kirksey wrote in a tweet that he would be “forever grateful” for his time with the Browns.
Kirksey tore his pectoral muscle in Week 2 last year against the New York Jets and was placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season. Rookie Mack Wilson started for Kirksey in Cleveland’s final 14 games.
The Browns selected Kirksey in the third round of the 2014 draft out of Iowa.
He was a five-year starter for Cleveland going into last season, compiling 484 career tackles, 11.5 sacks and 2 interceptions in six seasons.