Browns Rumors: Ex-Bills CB Kevin Johnson Agrees to 1-Year, $3.5M Contract

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2020

Buffalo Bills cornerback Kevin Johnson (29) lines up against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

The Browns reportedly aren't done adding just yet.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday cornerback Kevin Johnson is signing with Cleveland on a one-year deal that could max out at $6 million if he hits his incentives. Johnson's base pay will remain at $3.5 million: 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Former Bills’ and Texans’ CB Kevin Johnson is signing a one-year, $3.5 million deal that could go up to $6 million on incentives with the Cleveland Browns, per league source.

Cleveland has now added three players on defense in free agency with Johnson joining the likes of defensive tackle Andrew Billings and safety Karl Joseph—who also agreed to a one-year deal. 

Johnson is a former first-round draft pick by the Houston Texans, going 16th overall in 2015 out of Wake Forest, but hasn't quite lived up to that billing so far in his career.

The cornerback has started just 19 of the 51 games he's appeared in and hasn't started more than four games since 2017. He suffered in concussion in Week 1 in 2018 that forced him to injured reserve and cost him the rest of the season. That also led to the end of his time with Houston. The Texans cut him on March 5, 2019, leading him to sign a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills

Johnson's season in Buffalo didn't yield the most positive results as he finished with 36 total tackles, five pass deflections and one sack.

Now in Cleveland, the Maryland native gets another shot with his third NFL team. The Browns are searching for their first postseason berth since 2002 and haven't been afraid to spend to get there. 

In addition to the aforementioned acquisitions, Cleveland has also agreed to deals with offensive lineman Jack Conklin, tight end Austin Hooper and quarterback Case Keenum. 

Johnson can provide a bit of depth in the secondary with Denzel Ward still holding down the spot at cornerback. The Browns are hoping there's still value in the former first-round pick and can coach it out of him. If not, Johnson may be back in free agency for the third consecutive offseason next spring.