Earlier this offseason, the Cleveland Browns traded one of their two starting safeties. Jabrill Peppers was sent to the New York Giants as part of the deal that brought Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon to Cleveland, so the cost was well worth it, but it did leave a hole in the Cleveland defensive backfield.
That hole has now been filled. According to a report from Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns are signing former Steelers (and Packers) safety Morgan Burnett to take over Peppers’ role in the secondary. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added that Burnett will sign a two-year deal with Cleveland.
Burnett will slot in at the safety spot next to Damarious Randall, who was himself acquired in a trade from the Packers last offseason. (Burnett is also a former Packer.) They’ll team with Denzel Ward, Terrance Mitchell, and T.J. Carrie in a secondary that will have the benefit of playing behind what should be one of the league’s best defensive lines. The Browns could likely still use some more quality depth on the back end, but getting Burnett to solidify one of those safety spots is a nice pickup.
The Browns’ secondary was already ranked above-average in ourdesigned to help identify draft needs, and Burnett’s signing should help a bit. This is still likely one of the “need” areas for the team, simply because they could use more depth and perhaps an upgrade at the corner slot opposite Ward, but it’s a solid group that just got even better.