The Cleveland Browns continue to beef up their defense on the first official day of NFL free agency. On the same day that the team released safety John Johnson III and DE Jadeveon Clowney, they looked to replace them.
There are a few needs still left after the start of free agency for the team including a replacement for JJ3, a tight end, another defensive lineman and a receiver. Correction, there was a need for a safety as the team is reportedly signing safety Juan Thornhill away from the Kansas City Chiefs:
Two-time Super Bowl winner Juan Thornhill agreed to terms with the #Browns on a three-year, $21 million contract with $14 million fully guaranteed at signing over the first two years, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 15, 2023
Thornhill started 52 games for the #Chiefs. A big addition for Cleveland.
In those 52 starts, 65 games total, Thornhill has eight interceptions, one touchdown, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one sack, five tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and 234 tackles. As his numbers show, Thornhill makes plays all over the field.
Pro Football Focus noted that Thornhill finished the season as the best at his position:
Over his past five games (Week 16 through the conference championship), Thornhill’s 90.5 grade is the top mark among safeties by five grading points, with his 88.8 coverage grade also the highest at the position. Thornhill has played at least 850 snaps in each of his first four seasons and offers a high floor of play on the backend.
Unlike Johnson, who played in the box a ton before coming to Cleveland, Thornhill has played a vast majority of his snaps at free safety (2,310 according to PFF). Paired with Grant Delpit and the quality cornerback room, Thornhill gives new DC Jim Schwartz a true centerfielder to roam the backend of the defense.
Tomlinson, Okoronkwo and Thornhill were three of the five players we mocked to the Browns before “PreAgency” began. The other two, DT A’Shawn Robinson and WR Trent Sherfield are still available.