In a move principally designed to strengthen the special teams units, but which might also enhance the competition at linebacker, the Cleveland Browns have claimed two-year veteran Kris Griffin on waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs.
To make room for Griffin, the team waived rookie linebacker Mike Alston of Toledo, who was signed as an undrafted free agent last month.
Griffin, 26, is an excellent athlete with good size and versatility and is coming off a 2006 season in which he led the Chiefs in special teams tackles (22). He should immediately upgrade the Browns' punt and kickoff coverage units.
A former Indiana (Pa.) University standout, Griffin was the lone undrafted college free agent to earn a spot on Kansas City's roster in 2005. He appeared in eight games as a rookie, but his season was cut short by a hamstring injury.
Last year, Griffin played in NFL Europa, and was one of the league's top linebackers, before rejoining the Chiefs for the NFL season. He appeared in all 16 games and, in addition to his special teams performance, Griffin logged some playing time from scrimmage and displayed solid skills versus the run.
In 24 career games, Griffin has 22 tackles and one fumble recovery from scrimmage, along with 25 special teams tackles.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.