When the Cleveland Browns have made a move this offseason, or reportedly made a move, quickly we heard of them looking to take the next step. Just hours after firing DC Joe Woods, reports were out that the team was setting up interviews with Brian Flores, Jim Schwartz and more.
When Cleveland let go of ST coordinator Mike Priefer last week, quickly we heard that Bubba Ventrone was the front-runner for the position.
Today, on the first day of the NFL combine, came the report that the team would be moving on from S John Johnson III. Johnson’s time with the Browns started with a lot of excitement but he failed to produce as he had with the Los Angeles Rams. With Woods on his way out, Schwartz’s defense may be looking for a true free safety.
Bengals safety Jessie Bates III is on their radar to replace him if he hits the market.
Bates played on the franchise tag last year for the Bengals and had another very good season. He is also represented by David Mulugheta, the agent for QB Deshaun Watson.
For Pro Football Focus, Bates is the fourth-best free agent on the market. They project him to sign a five-year deal worth a total of $75 million with $40 million guaranteed.
The safety market is full of talented players this year which could flood the market and keep prices down. Normally, that isn’t true at the top of the free agent market. If GM Andrew Berry doesn’t want to spend to that extent, Jordan Poyer, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Juan Thornhill could be options as well, although Poyer isn’t a true free safety.