Christian Kirksey is less than two months into his new contract with the Green Bay Packers and is already putting some of his latest earnings to good use with a new house for his mom for Mother’s Day.
The Packers inside linebacker shared a picture Sunday afternoon of his mom, Patrice Kirksey, posing in front of a beautifully-designed house he bought and gifted to her, including a caption that read: “Built my Mother a house from the ground up! You deserve everything and more!”
— Christian Kirksey (@Kirko58) May 10, 2020
Kirksey’s mom didn’t take long to respond with her own heartfelt message, thanking her son and reminiscing about his generous spirit from back when he was just “a little boy.”
Thank you Son for your Kindness and Love you show to me. I am so Proud to be your Mom. Even when you were a little boy and your Father was still Alive you were always wanting to spend your quarters , dimes and nickels to buy me something AND look at you now…Still Blessing!
— Patrice Kirksey (@PatriceKirksey) May 10, 2020
Kirksey, who played his first six NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns, signed a two-year, $13 million deal with the Packers this offseason to become their defense’s new inside man, taking the reins from former starter Blake Martinez after he signed elsewhere in free agency.
The 27-year-old linebacker has recorded 484 career tackles, including consecutive seasons in which he tallied at least 138, but injuries restricted him to just nine combined games over his final two years with the Browns. Kirksey played just two games in 2019 before suffering a torn pectoral tendon in Week 2 and undergoing season-ending surgery a few weeks later.
In Green Bay, though, Kirksey looks to make a fresh start in a prime situation after linebacker depth proved to be a struggle for the Packers in 2019. His relationship with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine should also help, as the two spent time together in Cleveland and should have an easier time getting on the same page than an unknown free agent or rookie.
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Kirksey Due for Preseason Clash with Former Team
While the entire 2020 NFL preseason is still flexible — and potentially cuttable — the Packers are currently billed for a matchup against the Browns in their second exhibition game on a to-be-determined date from Aug. 20-24. The two squads also have some joint practices on the books in Green Bay, which means Kirksey is going to be seeing a lot of his former team.
“There’s gonna be some good competition, man,” Kirksey told Matt Schneidman of The Athletic in March. “I’m definitely gonna be juiced up for that, just to go against my former teammates in practice, see some of my friends. It’s all friendly competition and it’s all fun and games. But at the same time, it’s your old team. Who doesn’t wanna practice against your old team, you know?”
As a presumptive starter for the Packers, Kirksey might not normally take the field in the team’s second preseason game. Aaron Rodgers didn’t play a single preseason snap last year along with several other key starters for the team. Assuming the preseason carries on without any coronavirus-related alternations, though, those reps could become more valuable with how the pandemic has already shaped offseason workouts.
Team facilities still remain closed in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and could quite possibly end up staying closed for months to come, which would leave training camp as one of the first opportunities for this year’s mobile free agents to acclimate to their new team in an in-person setting. As such, it would make sense if the Packers decided to play some of their new starters for longer-than-usual stretches throughout the preseason.