Speculation is all over the place when it comes to the Cleveland Browns this offseason. Many have noted that they do not have a first-round pick and, currently, do not have cap space to be highly involved in free agency. Others will focus on the eight selections they do have in the NFL draft and the ability to create more than enough cap space, if they want to, for free agency this year.
As always, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
The Browns can create cap space but do not have to mortgage the future. Cleveland has draft capital to add pieces that will be helpful but, generally, first-round picks are given a chance and are able to make the biggest impact as rookies.
We will continue to profile free agents as we head into the NFL combine. Once we have data from draft prospects we will add NFL draft profiles as well.
2022: 16 games, 16 starts, 1044 snaps (95%), 71 tackles, nine passes defended, four tackles for loss, three INTs, two QB hits, one sack
Career: 65 games, 52 starts, 234 tackles, 20 PDs, eight INTs, five TFLs, four QB hits, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery
67.1 overall, 60.4 vs run, 68.7 vs pass
Final year of rookie deal, $2.765 million
Fit with the Browns
Thornhill’s fit with Cleveland depends totally on the team’s decision with John Johnson III. New DC Jim Schwartz could believe that JJ3 is as good as we saw in Los Angeles, blame everything on Joe Woods and want to ride with the veteran. If not, GM Andrew Berry could save cap space by dropping Johnson and dropping Thornhill into the backend of the defense.
Browns Player Signing Could Impact
John Johnson III - A small chance it would impact Grant Delpit but the reality is that JJ3’s time in Cleveland could be dependent on if Berry thinks he can replace him for relatively effective use of cap space.
How Signing Could Impact the NFL Draft
Another area where JJ3 and Thornhill are mixed together. If Johnson is still on the roster or Thornhill is signed, safety could get attention in the middle to late rounds. If neither are on the roster, safety quickly slides up to the second or third biggest need on the team.
Medium – High - Thornhill is going to be one of the guys you will see us mocking to the Browns in free agency due to the combination of his skill and likely realistic price tag. PFF has a contract projection of two years, $11 million guaranteed. That is a value that we would love to add to Cleveland’s defense.