The Cleveland Browns will release safety John Johnson III at the start of the league year on March 15, barring a trade, NFL Network Reporter Mike Garafolo.

The Browns top target in 2021 free agency, Johnson signed a three-year deal worth $33.75 million, including $24 million guaranteed. But over the first two years of the deal, it didn’t work out the way either party hoped.

Johnson was selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams, started in every one of the 17 games he played for the Browns this season.

The Browns recently hired veteran defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to replace Joe Woods, who was fired in January after two consecutive losing seasons.

John Johnson III of the Cleveland Browns. Photo courtsey of Akron Beacon Journal

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