BEREA, Ohio - The Cleveland Browns introduced their first of the free agent signings on Wednesday afternoon, linebacker Paul Kruger.
Kruger joined the Browns from the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Kruger agreed to a five-year contract on Tuesday afternoon, the first day of NFL free agency.
"I think leaving Baltimore gets you the opportunity to step out of the shadow of a couple of other players." Kruger said. "It's an opportunity for me."
Kruger was joined by head coach Rob Chudzinski and CEO Joe Banner at Wednesday news conference.
Chudzinski likes Kruger's ability to play multiple positions in defensive coordinator Ray Horton's defense.
"You know about his pass rushing ability but he's also good in stopping the run game," Chudzinski said. "He can lineup both as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 and can serve as a down lineman in a 4-3 so versatility was a key reason why we signed Paul."
Kruger is coming off a terrific postseason run. Kruger recorded four sacks during the Ravens run to the Vince Lombardi trophy. Now, Kruger is focused on becoming a key part to the Browns defense.
"I'll be someone you can rely on and I want to be known as a leader of this defense," Kruger said.
The Browns focused on defense to open up free agency. Along with Kruger, the Browns also signed defensive lineman Desmond Bryant from the Oakland Raiders and linebacker Quentin Groves from the Arizona Cardinals.
"We've added a few guys and addressed some area that are important to us. The front seven is a key area. We have a long way to go."
Kruger was a key guy the Browns focused on signing once the offseason began.
"We want players that we think are at a point where they're playing well and likely to sustain that," CEO Joe Banner said.
Kruger had 15 and a half sacks in his four year career with the Ravens.