Browns free agency: 3 safeties to replace John Johnson

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Jimmie Ward, Browns
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Free Agent No. 2 – Jimmie Ward

After nine years in the NFL, all with the San Francisco 49ers, it’s hard to believe the Cleveland Browns could lure Jimmie Ward away. However, there is a lot of young talent on that team that will need to be paid, and there may not be room for a veteran like Ward who is certainly in the back half of his career.

Ward would not be a long-term fix in Cleveland, but a one or two-year contract makes a lot of sense while you start the grooming process of a draft pick from 2023. 

Ward had a down year in 2022 only starting five games, but he still managed to have three interceptions, five pass deflections, and one forced fumble to go along with 50 tackles. But just one-year prior Ward started 16 games and had 77 tackles to go along with six pass deflections.

Ward is also smaller at 5-foot, 11-inches, but he makes up for it with his toughness. Not only would Ward be a guy who could contribute a ton on the field, but his leadership in the locker room would also be fantastic. 

The real question is how much money he will get from someone else. At age 32 I think Andrew Berry would struggle to give him a contract in the $9-10 million per year range, but he very well could get that from someone else.