For new Browns linebacker Paul Kruger, winning a Super Bowl and hitting the free-agency jackpot are huge, but nothing in comparison to being alive and healthy.
The Browns today lured Kruger away from the Baltimore Ravens as an unrestricted free agent, a source told The Plain Dealer. The deal is for five years and about $40 million.
Kruger, 27, has overcome a lot on his way to becoming the Browns' new premier pass-rusher.
Five years ago, while playing at Utah, Kruger was stabbed in the abdomen by a gang member while hosting his younger brother Dave on a recruiting visit. "I had intestines protruding from my side," Kruger said at the Super Bowl last month. "Wrong place, wrong time."
Kruger (6-4, 285) suffered a collapsed lung and punctured artery, and he required 100 staples to close the wound.
"There was a point I thought I was going to die," he said. "It was something I can look back on and learn from."
It wasn't the first time Kruger had a brush with death. At the age of 14, he was riding in a jeep that rolled over, and he lost a kidney and his spleen. He was hospitalized for more than a month and told his sports career was over.
Browns agree to terms with linebacker Paul Kruger
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Mar 12