All day, anxiously awaiting Cleveland Browns fans wondered when the Browns would make a splash in free agency, as the window that players and teams could start talking officially opened. Well, Browns fans, you probably got soaked after tonight’s news that the Browns had agreed to terms with free agent and former LA Ram safety John Johnson III. The terms include a three-year contract worth $33.75 million and $24 million guaranteed.
Johnson is coming off of his rookie contract and cashed in after having several great seasons with the Rams. The 3rd round pick out of Boston College had a team-high 105 tackles this season, eight interceptions over his career and now really solidifies the back end of the Browns defense. Playing mostly free safety last season and now this next season with the Browns, it’ll give defensive coordinator Joe Woods the flexibility to use Ronnie Harrison and last year’s draft pick Grant Delpit (who didn’t play because of injury last season) in more dime defense packages. The Browns defense was one of the worst secondaries in the league, being at the bottom of giving up big chunk plays of 40 yards plus. The Rams, on the other hand, were ranked at the top of that same category of giving up very few big chunk plays.
Browns fans are rejoicing over this first free-agent signing by the Browns and general manager Andrew Berry. Even LA Ram players are praising the Browns tonight as star cornerback Jalen Ramsey said in a tweet, “Browns got a good 1.” Even more excited is Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was actually intercepted once by Johnson back at the beginning of the 2019 season on that fateful Browns 20-13 loss on Sunday Night Football. Mayfield said on Instagram tonight, “Let’s Go J.J.III!!!!”
So, Browns fans, what’s next? It’s like Christmas in March for us! Winning can be contagious!