Sep 23, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Christian Kirksey (58) reacts after making a tackle during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

LB Christian Kirksey tells Bills he’s retiring

Buffalo Bills linebacker Christian Kirksey announced he is retiring from the NFL, the team said Thursday.

Kirksey, 31, was signed to the Bills’ practice squad on Aug. 31, three days after the Houston Texans released him. He has yet to appear in a game with Buffalo.

He played the previous two seasons in Houston, starting 12 of 13 games in 2021 and all 17 games as a team captain in 2022. He totaled 217 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, three sacks and three interceptions with the Texans.

Kirksey played for the Cleveland Browns from 2014-19 and the Green Bay Packers in 2020. His career totals include 778 tackles, 45 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, seven interceptions, 33 quarterback hits and six fumble recoveries across 114 games (94 starts).

The Browns selected Kirksey in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Iowa.

Also on Thursday, the Bills signed linebacker A.J. Klein to their practice squad.

Klein, 32, has totaled 465 tackles, 15.5 sacks, four interceptions, eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 144 career games (82 starts) with the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Bills (2020-22), Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (30) is tackled by Green Bay Packers linebacker Christian Kirksey (58) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Packers release LB Christian Kirksey, OT Rick Wagner

The Green Bay Packers announced Friday that they released linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive tackle Rick Wagner.

The moves will help the team when it comes to the salary cap. Kirksey was slated to receive $5.6 million in 2021 salary and bonuses, while Wagner was set to receive $4.25 million in salary and bonuses.

Kirksey recorded 77 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks in 11 games (all starts) in 2020, his lone season with the Packers. He missed five games due to a pectoral injury.

Kirksey, 28, spent his first six NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

Kirksey has 561 tackles, 13.5 sacks, four interceptions, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 84 career games (65 starts).

Wagner, 31, also was a newcomer to the Packers in 2020 and started nine regular-season games. He also started the team’s two postseason games at right tackle.

Overall, Wagner has started 96 of 118 games played in eight seasons with the Baltimore Ravens (2013-16), Detroit Lions (2017-19) and Packers.

–Field Level Media