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Ahtyba Rubin's roster spot safe with Cleveland Browns

D'Qwell Jackson might not be the last veteran defender on his way out of Cleveland.

ProFootballTalk reported Friday that Browns defensive end Ahtyba Rubin is likely to become the team's next "salary squeeze" as new general manager Ray Farmer prepares for March's free-agency period.

It's surprising in that Cleveland is expected to have nearly $60 million in salary cap room and hardly needs to dump productive players for spending money. Rubin, however, is set to count $8.2 million against the cap and would save the team $6.8 million if he were sent packing.

Grading out as the NFL's 26th-ranked 3-4 defensive end last season, per Pro Football Focus, Rubin isn't a premier pass rusher. He has been one of the team's top run-stuffers during his 59 starts over the past four seasons.

Coach Mike Pettine and his assistants have pored through game film to determine who fits and who doesn't in the coach's multiple defensive front. We know that Cleveland is hot for Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd and also held interest in signing longtime Pettine pupil Bart Scott.

If the Browns also deem Rubin a fit, it appears they'd like the big man to think about playing for less.

Update: Rubin's roster spot appears to be safe after all. After meeting with the organization at the NFL Scouting Combine, Rubin's agent told The Plain Dealer the Browns are "happy to have him on the team" with "no changes to his salary."

The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" discusses the top 101 free agents and forecasts the offseasons of the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs.

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