The Browns added another free agent Saturday night, coming to terms with former Houston Texans outside linebacker Antwan Peek on three year contract.
Peek was a third round selection of the Texans back in 2003, and spent the first four years of his career with them, playing in 51 games and making 23 starts. Peek started all 16 games for the team in 2005, registering 57 tackles and six sacks as an outside linebacker in the Texans old 3-4 defensive scheme. Last year, new head coach Gary Kubiak switched the team to a 4-3 base defensively, and moved Peek to defensive end. Peek struggled with injuries as well as the position switch, and notched just 14 tackes and one sack in limited action in just 11 games.
From a distance, the signing looks like a savvy one for Browns general manager Phil Savage. Peek is just 27 years old and can get to the quarterback. He was miscast as a 4-3 defensive end last year, and will get the opportunity to get back out of the three point stance here in Cleveland. Peek will compete with Willie McGinest and Matt Stewart for a starting role at outside linebacker opposite Kamerion Wimbley, and it's quite possible that one of those veterans will be waived as a result of this signing.
Peek is clearly a guy that needed to find a home with a team that runs a 3-4 defense, and has now done so here in Cleveland. Like Roderick Hood, the cornerback from Philly that the Browns are also pursuing, Peek has a fair amount of sleeper upside and was one of the more appealing guys in that second tier of free agents. He should have an immediate impact in the Browns pass rush.
And in other mind-boggling news, the Dennis Northcutt Era finally and mercifully came to a close as well Saturday night. In what had to be a blackmail situation of some sort, the Jaguars gave Northcutt a five year contract worth an average of 3.4 million a year that included a 4.5 million dollar signing bonus.