The Cleveland Browns began March needing to improve all aspects of their defense if they are to compete with the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills next fall.
Cleveland addressed its secondary on Monday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter (h/t Jake Trotter) and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (h/t Grant Gordon) report that former Los Angeles Rams safety John Johnson has agreed to a three-year deal to join the Browns. The contract could be worth up to $33.75 million and includes $24 million in guaranteed money.
ESPN’s Mina Kimes predicted this transaction in late January:
The Rams selected Johnson in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and he started for Los Angeles beginning back in his rookie campaign. He will bolster Cleveland’s rotation that includes Ronnie Harrison and Grant Delpit.
Pro Football Focus has Johnson ranked No. 24 among free agents and estimated he would sign a four-year contract worth $52 million with $25 million total guaranteed and $16.5 million fully guaranteed at signing. “His 85.6 coverage grade ranked fourth among safeties during the regular season, marking the third time in four seasons he was at or above 84.9,” PFF explained.
Johnson, who turned 25 years old in December, recorded eight interceptions, 32 pass breakups, and one forced fumble across his four regular seasons with the Rams. He missed over half of the 2019 campaign because of a shoulder injury.