The fact is that the Cleveland Browns cannot have too much depth in the defensive end position going into the 2022 NFL season.
Though the powerhouse players of Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are back together for the upcoming season, and the team added Chase Winovich and Isaac Rochell, more is still better given how depleted the ranks always seem to get in the 17-week season.
That’s why it is not entirely surprising that there are whispers regarding Takkarist McKinley and a potential return to the Browns.
Recall that McKinley, 26, tore his Achilles in the latter stages of the 2021 season and remains a free agent.
#Browns pass-rusher Takk McKinley is feared to have suffered a torn Achilles, source said. He’ll have an MRI in the morning to determine if that is the case.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 21, 2021
Recent news indicates that his rehab is going well, and there could be a reunion with the Browns in the works at some point in the 2022 season.
What We Know
Brad Stainbrook is reporting that McKinley’s rehab is progressing.
Beyond that, McKinley has “transformed his body and is on a mission to be an impact player this season.”
There is a “mutual interest” between McKinley and the Browns to reunite in 2022.
Source: Takkarist McKinley is doing great rehab-wise. I'm told he has "transformed his body and is on a mission to be an impact player this season."
Mutual interest exists between Takk & #Browns. The Plan, as of now, is to join a team during camp if possible, or during season.
— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) July 15, 2022
McKinley May Have More Options
If he is healthy and things do not work out with the Browns, it seems likely that McKinley will find an interested team this season.
Earlier in the week, Yardbarker alluded to the possibility of McKinley becoming the Green Bay Packers DE3 this season.
Yardbarker went so far as to project a two-year contract given Green Bay’s cap-friendly situation.
Specifically, the article said:
“The 6-foot-2, 260-pound former first-round pick could be signed to a two-year deal worth around $8M in total. Green Bay has plenty of cap space with roughly $17M.”
Health is the biggest factor for McKinley.
A torn Achilles is a devastating injury, but it seems as though players are coming back faster and stronger than ever.
#Rams RB Cam Akers surprised everyone when he returned in Week 17 after tearing his achilles in the offseason.
His unique blend of speed and strength could make him the ideal RB2 for your fantasy team this year.
— Inside Injuries (@InsideInjuries) July 12, 2022
Cam Akers recovered quickly from the same injury last season so anything is possible.
If it works out, it would be great to have McKinley back in 2022.