3 Cleveland Browns that shouldn’t return in 2023

Cleveland Browns, John Johnson III. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns, John Johnson III. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns
Browns, John Johnson. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Player No. 1 – John Johnson (post-June 1)

One of the biggest disappointments for me in the Berry era is the signing of John Johnson. When the Cleveland Browns signed him from the L.A. Rams, he was one of the most sought-after safeties in the league. He was known as a guy who could cover, step into the box, and help with run defense as well.

Even though he has been given the green dot with all the injuries on defense, Johnson continues to be a weak spot on the field. He seems to always be involved in secondary miscommunications and has really struggled to play the ball when it’s in the air giving up big plays over the middle.

A post-June, 1 cut would save the Browns over $9 million next year, but Johnson has one of those miserable contracts with three void years in it. If it wasn’t for that, I would say there might be a chance that you would be able to find a trade partner.

Safety is another huge hole on this roster right now. Grant Delpit has struggled but will likely get one more year to prove himself, and Ronnie Harrison will likely not be back after another sub-par season as the third safety on the roster. If Berry does move on from Johnson, he needs to find that ball-hawking safety that can take away the middle of the field.

This is a big enough hole I would expect him to fill it via free agency, and look for a Harrison replacement in the draft. With all the money and picks tied up in this secondary, it continues to be huge frustration that it is so bad.