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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Did Browns give up on Wimbley too soon?

By Marla Published: January 6, 2011

Oakland Raiders linebacker Kamerion Wimbley was named the AFC's defensive player of the week for the first time in his career after recording three sacks, seven tackles and two tackles for losses in Sunday's 31-10 victory at Kansas City.

Wimbley's pressure helped the Raiders notch two interceptions and hold the  Chiefs to 86 passing yards.

The three sacks marked a career single-game high for Wimbley. The Browns' 13th overall pick in 2006 was traded to Oakland on March 15 for a 2010 third-round draft choice. The Browns used that selection to pick Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.

Getting McCoy, who could be the Browns' quarterback of the future, makes that trade a good move for the Browns.

But in wake of the coaching change and presuming defensive coordinator Rob Ryan lands elsewhere, it makes one wonder what a new staff might have done with Wimbley. He finished the season with nine sacks, his most since setting a Browns' rookie record with 11.  The Browns' leader, undrafted linebacker Marcus Benard, totalled 7.5.

Wimbley's total was higher than Washington's Brian Orakpo (8.5), Houston's Mario Williams (8.5) and Chicago's Julius Peppers (8.0). The NFL sack leaders were DeMarcus Ware of Dallas (15.5), Kansas City's Tamba Hali (14.5), Miami's Cameron Wake (14.0) and Green Bay's Clay Matthews III (13.5). Wimbley finished tied for 22nd.

Tight with former Browns general manager Phil Savage, Wimbley probably needed a change of scenery. But the Browns are still searching for a big-time pass rusher, which should be a high priority in the draft. Evidently president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert didn't see that in the cards for Wimbley.

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