Jan 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Connor Heyward (83) makes a catch against Cleveland Browns cornerback A.J. Green (rear) and safety John Johnson III (43) during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Pittsburgh won 28-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Reports: Browns to release S John Johnson III

Browns safety John Johnson III will be released by Cleveland before the final year of his three-year contract, per reports.

Johnson signed a $33.75 million deal with the Browns in 2021 and had 162 tackles with four interceptions in his first two seasons in Cleveland.

His base salary was scheduled to more than double from 2022 to ’23, from $4 million to $8.75 million.

The 27-year-old was a third-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and had two of his three career 100-tackle seasons with his original NFL team.

The Browns anticipate a shift in personnel to accommodate the style of play preferred by new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Johnson started all 17 games last season with 101 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception.

–Field Level Media

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