Cleveland Browns tap into Vikings connections with Andrew Sendejo signing

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PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: Andrew Sendejo #34 of the Minnesota Vikings in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 17, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns agreed to terms with safety Andrew Sendejo, who will have plenty of familiarity with Cleveland's defensive staff.

Cleveland Browns have been focusing on the defensive side of the ball over the past few days of free agency and it continued to be the focus on Friday. The Browns agreed to terms with safety Andrew Sendejo on Friday morning, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Sendejo's deal is a one-year agreement for $2.25 million. Since Wednesday, Sendejo is the fifth defensive free agent the Browns have reached agreements with. All five players will be playing on one-year deals in 2020.

Senedjo will be joining a defensive staff composed of coaches he is familiar with from his time with the Minnesota Vikings. Both Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard coached Sendejo in Minnesota.

During his 10-year career in the NFL, Sendejo has proven to be an effective safety. He has played as both a free safety and strong safety, and he has the versatility to move around the defensive formation.

Sendejo played eight seasons in Minnesota from 2011-2018. The Vikings declined his option after the 2018 season, allowing Sendejo to sign a one-year deal with the Eagles. After playing in nine games for the Eagles, Sendejo was waived in November. He was claimed by the Vikings and finished the 2019 season in Minnesota.

In 15 games last season, including three starts, Sendejo made 45 total tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, three interceptions and four passes defensed.

During his initial stint with the Vikings, Sendejo was a productive starter in Minnesota. However, the 32-year-old was used primarily as the No. 3 safety in 2019, and it's a role that he is likely best suited for at this point of his career.

But with Cleveland's lack of depth at safety, Sendejo may get another chance to be a starter with the Browns. Sendejo will be joining Sheldrick Redwine, J.T. Hassell, and recently signed free agent Karl Joseph in the defensive backfield. As it currently stands, Sendejo would likely pair with Joseph as the starting safeties. However, Sendejo would be a solid depth piece if Cleveland targets a safety in the draft.

The addition of Sendejo does not preclude the Browns from adding another safety to the group. Sendejo showed an ability to play as a nickel corner last season, which is a role he played well in. With Joseph's strength as more of a box safety, the Browns could target a safety who excels as a ball-hawk in the deep middle third of the field.

However, if the Browns decide against using three safeties in their defense, Sendejo and Joseph could be a good pair in a two-high safety system. Since both players have some versatility, it gives Joe Woods flexibility with his defensive system.

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With his connections to the Browns coaching staff, the addition of Sendejo makes plenty of sense for the Browns. Cleveland's need at safety also makes this a move that Cleveland's front office needed to make.