Free agents additions that will fix Cleveland Browns defense

Cleveland Browns free agency
Cleveland Browns free agency /
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Cleveland Browns free agency
John Johnson #43 Cleveland Browns free agency. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

John Johnson III, Safety – Los Angeles Rams

Projected Contract: 5 yrs/$41,697,335 ($8,339,467/yr)

John Johnson is one of the more underrated players in the league. Often overshadowed by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, Johnson is easily the third or fourth-best player on the Rams defense, depending on where you have Leonard Floyd. Johnson is an elite coverage safety who spends a majority of snaps playing in the box for the Rams.

In 54 career games, Johnson has recorded 8 interceptions, 32 pass breakups, 350 combined tackles, 8 tackles for loss, a pair of quarterback hits, and a forced fumble. He broke out during the 2018 season, helping the Rams reach Super Bowl LIII.

Johnson’s 2019 campaign was cut short after he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. In 2020, he had returned to his 2018 form and yet another Pro Bowl quality year. At only 25 years old, Johnson still has quite a few years ahead of him.

Browns Projected Cap: $19,297,691

William Jackson III, Cornerback – Cincinnati Bengals

Projected Contract: 3 yrs/$18,912,546 ($6,304,182/yr)

I’ve already made it known that I think the Browns should be pursuing William Jackson III in free agency. Locking up an experienced corner that has played at an elite level before in his career, for a very reasonable contract is a no-brainer. The Browns have seen Jackson play plenty and he would be a great addition to the locker room.

He’s not a stat-sheet stuffer but his impact goes deeper. Jackson only allowed three touchdowns and held receivers to a 52.3 percent catch rate, which ranked fifth-best in the NFL. He also held quarterbacks to a 79.8 QBR, nine points below league average. With how the secondary played in 2020, Jackson would be a huge addition to this Browns defense.

Browns Projected Cap: $12,993,509