Browns Rumors: B.J. Goodson Agrees to Contract to Fill Middle LB Void

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2020

Green Bay Packers middle linebacker B.J. Goodson (93) waits on the snap during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns upgraded the linebacker position Wednesday, signing middle linebacker B.J. Goodson, according to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.  

It was an important addition for the Browns, with Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert leaving the team to sign elsewhere. 

Jake Trotter @Jake_Trotter

Goodson started nine games for the Packers last year, 13 games for the Giants in 2018. The type of veteran LB the Browns were canvassing for with Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert now gone

Pelissero added that Goodson was signing a one-year deal:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

It’s a one-year deal that’s nearly fully guaranteed for Goodson, who has 29 career starts. Now, a chance to settle in after last year’s cutdown-weekend trade to the #Packers. https://t.co/6e8gUSKlUz

Goodson, 26, started nine games for the Green Bay Packers last year, posting 37 tackles. He spent his first three seasons with the New York Giants, starting 20 times overall while registering 123 tackles (seven for loss). 

His addition is the latest move in what has been a busy offseason for the Browns, who have been one of the winners in free agency with the additions of right tackle Jack Conklin, tight end Austin Hooper, backup quarterback Case Keenum and fullback Andy Janovich. 

Conklin and Hooper are the big gets. Conklin will give the team an enormous upgrade at right tackle. Coming into the offseason, both tackle positions were Cleveland's biggest weakness. And Hooper is a fantastic tight end who will give young quarterback Baker Mayfield a nice security blanket. 

The defensive side of the ball still needs work, with safety Morgan Burnett released and safeties Eric Murray (Houston Texans) and Juston Burris (Carolina Panthers) signing elsewhere in free agency. Bolstering the secondary remains a priority, and the Browns took one step in that direction Wednesday, reportedly signing Karl Joseph to a one-year deal, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. 

But linebacker was a need, and at the very least the team added nice depth in Goodson, who should be given every opportunity to earn the starting job.