Browns Planning to Release Veteran Defender Before Free Agency

Isaiah De Los Santos
The Cleveland Browns are planning to release a veteran defender ahead of free agency's start.
The Cleveland Browns are planning to release a veteran defender ahead of free agency's start. / (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Currently over the salary cap by $10-plus million and with Deshaun Watson's megadeal set to kick in, the Cleveland Browns will need to make some tough decisions this offseason. That could include parting ways with starters to pursue more cost-effective replacements.

This seems to be the case for one key Browns defender.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports Cleveland is planning to release veteran safety John Johnson III before the new league year officially begins. A trade is also on the table, but either way, it appears Johnson's tenure with the Browns is over.

Johnson was heralded as a steal signing during the 2021 offseason, inking a three-year, $33 million deal with Cleveland to help boost its secondary. The Boston College product never quite lived up to the hype, though, posting two straight years with a coverage grade under 67, according to ProFootballFocus.

After recording 11 pass breakups in two separate seasons for the Los Angeles Rams, Johnson managed just nine combined across 32 games as a Brown. Considering this drop-off, it's no surprise the team wants to test the waters in free agency and see if a cheaper option can provide a similar return.

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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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