I think we're always going to need a nickel rusher while we have Upshaw. Upshaw is a talented player and will probably turn out to be the best run defending 3-4 OLB in the league, but I'm not sure if he'll ever be able to offer a great amount of productivity as a pass rusher.
Btw Cleveland have some pretty good DTs.
Appreciate all Kruger has done for us but we don't overpay situational players. Suggs has become the new Ray. The OLBs opposite of him go to new teams and thrive in mediocrity. Atleast, kinda lol.
As already stated by others Kruger is just not that good.......he had a nice year and made a few plays. And in the NFL there are teams that will pay 9 million a year, etc just to keep the fans filling the seats.
I understand that Kruger posted more sacks/game after Suggs returned, but correlation does not equal causation. Suggs' return and Kruger's "rise" (which wasn't really a rise because he was pressuring the QB at the same rate overall the entire season, he just got more sacks in the latter half) happened at the same time but had nothing to do with one another.
If you go back and watch the tape teams were not doubling, chipping, or otherwise scheming around Suggs at all. In fact, Suggs was a complete nonfactor as a pass rusher outside of the Houston and Denver games this year. Kruger was our only legit edge rushing option whether Suggs was in the lineup or not.
I'm not saying this to bash Suggs but merely to point out that Kruger's production wasn't due to anything other than him playing at a high level. Wave your hand at it and call it "easily replaced" as much as you want but if it could be so easily replaced one would think pass rushers would be as cheap as kickers or punters.
Kruger is getting severally under valued by a lot of posters here, and its because of his past rep as an under whelming player. He has emerged into a top tier pass rusher whether people like it or not, some wont get it out of their heads that Kruger isn't just some depth rotational player anymore, the guy can get to the QB. I also laugh at the notion that I hear every day around here about Kruger playing only a 3rd of the defensive snaps, that is completely false and untrue, he played almost 90 % of the snaps against NE. He's an every down player and is going to get paid like one. Not saying he's an elite pass rusher yet or anything, but he is going to get a lot of money because of his age, and upside.