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Browns sign veteran safety Rodney McLeod

Cleveland brings a player familiar with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s defense to the roster.

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns added some veteran depth to the defensive side of the ball on Thursday with the signing of safety Rodney McLeod.

An 11-year veteran, McLeod is familiar with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz from their time together with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016 to 2021. Having played both strong and free safety in his career, McLeod will likely serve as the primary backup for starters Grant Delpit and Juan Thornhill.

McLeod entered the league in 2012 with the St. Louis Rams, where he spent four seasons before moving to the Eagles as a free agent in 2016. In six seasons with the Eagles, McLeod made 75 starts and had 11 interceptions, 34 passes defended and two sacks.

He also started five playoff games with Philadelphia, including all three in the Eagles’ Super Bowl-winning season of 2017, so he brings some valuable experience to a defensive secondary that is predominately filled with younger players.

McLeod spent last season with the Indianapolis Colts, playing all 17 games and making 15 starts, finishing with two interceptions, eight passes defended, and 96 tackles. While he only spent one season with the Colts, McLeod was named the team’s most-improved player by Pro Football Focus after improving his overall defensive grade by 15.3 points from his final season with the Eagles:

McLeod has always been a more-than-serviceable safety in the NFL, but his first season with the Colts, his 11th overall, wound up as his best ever in terms of PFF grade (80.1). He missed just 7.4% of the tackles he attempted, another career-best, and made a career-high 28 tackles resulting in a defensive stop.

All told, McLeod has played in 156 games, making 138 starts, and has 18 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and 689 tackles.