John Johnson chose to sign with Browns despite bigger offers from other teams

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When John Johnson agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns in free agency on Monday, many were surprised by the relatively modest contract terms. Johnson agreed to a four-year, $33.75 million deal to join the Browns, a deal that becomes official on March 17th.

That is lower than his perceived market value. It’s less total money (though more guaranteed) that the Jaguars doled out for Rashawn Jenkins, who isn’t nearly as well-regarded around the league as Johnson was for his play with the Los Angeles Rams. There’s a reason why the figure for Johnson seems low.

He wanted to be in Cleveland.

Per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, Johnson had bigger offers on the table from other teams. But he chose to join the ascending young Browns with a chance to win over more money but less potential team success with other clubs.

Among the teams rumored to be interested in Johnson prior to the Browns deal were the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and the Jaguars, who quickly pivoted to Jenkins.

It’s a sign that Cleveland is becoming a destination for players who want to win, not ones who want to cash in.

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