Once again, former Texas Longhorns linebacker Malik Jefferson is looking for a new home in the NFL, as the Cleveland Browns waived the former third-round draft pick on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
Jefferson mostly played on special team for the Browns after landing in Cleveland in early September, days after he was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals, the team that drafted him back in 2018. In nine games with the Browns, Jefferson only recorded one tackle. Last season with the Bengals, he had 10 tackles before he failed to make the final roster this year.
The expectations were always high for Jefferson — he was a consensus five-star prospect in the 2015 recruiting class and ranked as the No. 10 player nationally and the No. 1 outside linebacker, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Jefferson arrived in Austin in early 2016 amid much fanfare and quickly became a starter, but was benched during his sophomore season before emerging as the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a junior.
Jefferson declared early for draft, but his NFL career has quickly trended towards the margin. With unique speed for a linebacker, Jefferson will likely get some more opportunities, he just needs to start taking better advantage of them or his professional career will end much sooner than expected.