Browns free agency: 4 impacts John Johnson signing has on 2021

Browns John Johnson (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Browns John Johnson (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Browns John Johnson (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

4 ways free agency impacts the Browns in 2021

The legal tampering period of free agency came with all the big names flying off the market and the Browns were aggressive, signing safety John Johnson away from the Rams.

Here’s four ways free agency impacts Cleveland moving forward, including an important note on current safety Ronnie Harrison.

1. Browns signed a win now player

John Johnson is a player who makes the Browns significantly better in 2021. Consider the upgrade. Andrew Sendejo started 15 games after being signed to backup Grant Delpit. Now, the Browns are going to place Sendjo with Johnson, who Pro Football Focus graded out with a mark of 85.3. Anything over 85 is deemed Pro Bowl worthy. PFF’s Mike Renner called the signing of Johnson his favorite move the day.

Johnson can cover downfield, and he matches up well against tight ends. In his four year career, quarterbacks have targeted him 65 times when covering a tight end. Johnson’s given up 34 catches (52 percent) on those throws. Seven of those catches went for touchdowns, but he’s also picked seven passes while breaking up an addition 16, according to Pro Football Focus.

Media reports indicate defensive coordinator would like to better deploy a scheme feating two linebackers and three safeties. Injuries prohibited the long-time coach from putting his best product on the field last year. That obviously changes with the addition of Johnson, to play with Delpit and Ronnie Harrison.

Johnson was drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft (91st overall). The 25-year old will officially sign a three-year deal worth $33.75 million ($24 million guaranteed) on Wednesday, when teams can official dole out new contracts.

Johnson was estimated to earn an average annual salary of $8.33 million per season. The Browns exceeded that over by 26 percent.

Free agency was made to overpay for players, but at least in this case, the Browns added a significant pice to a puzzle that will ultimately show us the Vince Lombardi Trophy.