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Cleveland Browns earn rave reviews for signing of John Johnson III

The Cleveland Browns have received high marks for their reported signing of former Los Angeles Rams safety John Johnson III.

CLEVELAND — On Jan. 31, ESPN's Mina Kimes sent out a tweet regarding one of the top safeties who appeared headed for the upcoming free-agent market.

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"Looking at the Rams free agents (since they're way over the cap now)," the NFL Live analyst tweeted. "John Johnson is a *super* underrated player. One of the better safeties in the NFL. ....Cleveland?"

More than a month later, Kimes' post would prove prophetic.

Shortly after the NFL's "legal tampering" period kicked off on Monday afternoon, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reported that the Browns had agreed to a contract with Johnson, who did in fact hit free agency. Per Garafolo, Johnson's contract in Cleveland is for three years and worth $33.75 million, $24 million of which is guaranteed.

On a day in which the free agency news was largely focused on pass-rushers, the Browns' signing of the 25-year-old Johnson stood out, as Cleveland added a talented and versatile young safety to a secondary in need of vast improvement. The move also drew rave reviews on social media, where several NFL analysts praised the Browns' addition of the Boston College product.

RELATED: Who is John Johnson III? 5 things to know about the Cleveland Browns' new safety

Appearing in all 16 games for the Rams in 2020, the 25-year-old Johnson totaled 105 tackles, eight pass defenses and one interception. According to Pro Football Focus, he ranked as the No. 3 safety in the entire NFL, as well as the third-best player at his position in coverage.


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