After two days of relative silence, the Cleveland Browns finally dipped their feet into the free agent pool on Thursday, signing both safety Usama Young (formerly of Kent State University and the New Orleans Saints) and running back Brandon Jackson, formerly of the Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers.
Young, 26, is expected to be the team’s starting free safety, as Abram Elam is an unrestricted free agent and most likely will not be returning to the Browns. He made six starts in 52 games for the Saints and was a teammate of Josh Cribbs for three years.
Jackson, 25, was signed to a two-year deal for $4.5 million and is a solid third-down back that came up big for the injury-ravaged Packers last season. In his career, Jackson has 347 carries for 1,329 yards and seven touchdowns.
While Young’s spot in the lineup is solidified, Jackson now finds himself in a crowded backfield – that is, if Montario Hardesty can stay healthy. Jackson is a solid pass-catcher, though, catching 110 passes in Green Bay, which makes him a good fit in head coach Pat Shurmur’s offense. Either way, depth at the position is always a good problem to have, evidenced by the Packers’ run through a number of backs on their way to a Super Bowl victory.