CLEVELAND — On Monday night, the Cleveland Browns ended the first day of the NFL's legal tampering period with a splash, agreeing to a four-year, $57 million ($27.5 million guaranteed) contract with defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson.
What follows are three things to know about Tomlinson, who spent the past two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.
The Renaissance Man
While Tomlinson starred as a 4-star prospect at Henry County High School in McDonough, Georgia, the gridiron wasn't his only area of excellence. In addition to being a four-sport athlete, Tomlinson was an artist and musician, earning the nickname "The Renaissance Man" from his high school head coach, Mike Rozier.
"He's just very well rounded," Rozier told AL.com of his former star player in 2015.
While football was Tomlinson's favorite sport, wrestling was perhaps his most dominant. The first wrestler in Georgia history to win three heavyweight state titles, Tomlinson capped a 49-0 senior season with a 9-second victory in the state championship.
Tomlinson was also a standout student, amassing a 4.0 grade point average and a scholarship offer to play football at Harvard. Rather than suiting up for the Crimson, he opted to spend his college career with the Crimson Tide, enrolling at Alabama, where he was a member of two national championship-winning teams.
While the 29-year-old Tomlinson has become known for his upbeat personality, he's also no stranger to tragedy. When he was five years old, he lost his father to cancer, while his mother passed away due to complications from diabetes during his senior year of high school.
"She gave me a big, loving family that cheers for me just as loudly as she did," Tomlinson wrote of his late mother, Melinda, in a 2017 essay for The Players' Tribune. "She gave me a friendly disposition that allows me to meet new people and to make meaningful connections with them. And finally, she gave me an incredible belief in myself, a belief that has allowed me to reach for my wildest dreams."
Following his college career at Alabama -- where in addition to winning two national titles, he earned a degree in finance, just as he promised his mom he would -- Tomlinson was selected by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Throughout his career with the Giants and Vikings, the 6-foot-3, 325-pound defensive tackle has earned recognition for his efforts to carry on his family's legacy by consistently promoting causes related to diabetes and families dealing with grief.
Man in the Middle
As for what the Browns are getting in Tomlinson as a player, the Alabama product was primarily deployed as a run-stuffing nose tackle during his four seasons with the Giants. As noted by Pro Football Focus, Tomlinson has never missed more than five tackles in a season, while his 83.0 run defense grade since 2017 ranks 16th among interior defensive linemen.
Upon signing with the Vikings ahead of the 2021 season, Tomlinson was paired with another run stuffer in Michael Pierce, giving him the opportunity to show off his pass rush prowess. In 29 games in Minnesota, the 2017 PFWA All-Rookie team selection tallied five sacks and 17 quarterback hits, as well as 29 quarterback pressures and a 79.1 PFF pass-rush grade during the 2022 season.
In coming to Cleveland, Tomlinson will likely return to his run-stuffing roots as the Browns look to fix a run defense that was one of the league's worst in 2022. He should, however, also get plenty of opportunities to get after the quarterback while playing for new Cleveland defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who consistently takes advantage of his players' versatility -- especially on the defensive line.