The Cleveland Browns are reportedly rewarding underappreciated inside linebacker Christian Kirksey with a big-time four-year contract extension.

The $20 million guaranteed would put Kirksey into the top five of inside linebackers. It’s a huge contract for this position.

Originally a third-round pick out of Iowa in 2014, Kirksey emerged as a big-time player for Cleveland last year, which was his first as a full-time starter. In addition to his big tackle total, the linebacker had 2.5 sacks last season and was a stud against the run.

Cleveland has definitely committed to shoring up its defensive front based on what we’ve seen the past year or so. Since making the move to acquire outside linebacker Jamie Collins in a trade, the Browns have continued to bring in top-level talent to make their front seven one that should be highly imposing in the years to come.