NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo reported Johnson’s deal is worth up to $33.75 million with $24 million guaranteed.
The former third-round draft pick has spent his entire four-year career thus far playing for the Rams.
The Browns will have a versatile safety group that includes Ronnie Harrison and Grant Delpit, who is set to return from an Achilles injury that forced him to miss the entire 2020 season.
#Browns deal for S John Johnson: Three years, $33.75 million with $24 million guaranteed, source says. Former third-rounder cashes in.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 15, 2021
Monday marked the start of the legal negotiating window for NFL teams.
Teams can officially sign free-agent players at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.
The Browns entered Monday with about $24.07 million in salary-cap space, according to Over The Cap.
The site showed the Rams are about $37.91 million over the salary cap, which is the most in the NFL.
Johnson, 25, accumulated 350 tackles, 32 pass deflections and eight interceptions in 54 games played.
Former Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley (now the head coach of the Chargers) trusted Johnson to wear the green dot on his helmet.
It means Johnson was the team’s defensive signal-caller after 13-year veteran Eric Weddle retired in February 2020.
Johnson was also a team captain, and started all 16 games in 2020 after a shoulder injury limited him to six games in 2019.
The Rams allowed the fewest total yards of offense (281.94 yards per game) and points per game (18.5 points per game) in the NFL in 2020.
S John Johnson to the #Browns —
Fits as a Quarters safety in CLE — with the ability to spin down as robber/hook defender in sub-packages.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) March 15, 2021
Johnson spoke to media members about his emotions and future with the Rams after the team’s divisional-round playoff loss to the Packers.
“Definitely emotional,” Johnson said. “Just not knowing what’s going to happen, not knowing if the guys you’ve been with for four years, you’re going to be with them again. I guess we’ll just go from there and see how it goes.”
Although Johnson’s 2020 stats of 105 tackles, eight passes defended, two tackles for a loss, and one interception might not stand out, some people feel he was snubbed of earning Pro Bowl honors.
Pro Football Focus gave Johnson a grade of 85.3 during the 2020 season, which ranked third among NFL safeties.
Adams and Diggs had lower PFF grades, but more importantly, the Seahawks defense struggled in 2020.
Johnson III: 85.3 PFF Grade in 2020 (3rd) pic.twitter.com/10FEcomzSl
— PFF (@PFF) March 15, 2021
Johnson is best known for intercepting New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in overtime of the NFC Championship on Jan. 20, 2019.
The interception set up kicker Greg Zuerlein’s 57-yard field goal to send the Rams to Super Bowl LIII.
JOHN JOHNSON OVERTIME INTERCEPTION 😳😳😳 RAMS BALL
….and he breaks out the CHOPPA dance in NOLA 😅pic.twitter.com/OMtH40Vb44
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) January 20, 2019