Outside linebacker Paul Kruger signing with the Browns provides a chance for him to step out of the hulking shadows of Ravens defensive icons Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata, and prove he can be a dominant defender without them.

"That's not a negative thing in any way," Kruger said during his introductory news conference Wednesday. "I mean, Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, those were older brothers for me. They're guys who I text on a daily basis and I'm very close with. But yeah, I definitely see it as an opportunity for me to be able to show that I can do a lot of good things."

Kruger, who signed a five-year, $40 million deal -- including $20 million guaranteed --is eager to prove wrong the critics who say he broke out largely because of the star-studded supporting cast of defenders who tore up quarterbacks on the way to a Super Bowl victory over the 49ers.

Kruger, who led the Ravens with nine sacks during the regular season and 4.5 in the playoffs, had four sacks without sackmaster Suggs in the lineup and 9.5 with him. It evokes questions about other ex-Baltimore defenders such as Bart Scott, Duane Starks and Jarret Johnson, who haven't excelled since leaving the Ravens.