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Browns make Juan Thornhill signing official

Cleveland inks a safety with playoff experience to take over the backend of the defense.

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NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns made it official on Thursday, announcing that they are signing safety Juan Thornhill to a three-year deal.

Thornhill spent the previous four years with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he made 52 starts as a member of two Super Bowl-winning teams.

Heading into free agency, Pro Football Focus highlighted Thornhill’s strong finish to the 2022 season:

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.

The Browns did not release any additional contract details, but earlier this week NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Thornhill’s deal is worth $21 million in total, with $14 million in guaranteed money.

Thornhill will now move into the safety spot vacated by John Johnson III, who was released this week as a post-June 1 waiver. But unlike Johnson, Thornhill has played the majority of his snaps at free safety, which would likely mean that safety Grant Delpit can take over the in-the-box role in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’ system and let Thornhill patrol the backend of the defense.