The ninth installment of the 2020 Cleveland Browns Positional Breakdown will focus on a high target need for the Browns: safeties. Losing Damarious Randell in free agency to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jermaine Whitehead (still unsigned) was a blow to the room. That said, the Browns did bring in two veterans in free agency and one highly touted player in the 2020 draft. Who did the Browns bring in to the safety room for the 2020 season? Let’s get started.
Grant Delpit (Signed until 2023, Free Agent in 2024)
2020 Contract: N/A
As of this article, the 44th overall (second round) pick hasn’t signed his rookie contract yet but it’s known that he will be a Brown until the end of the 2023 season.
Coming into the 2020 NFL Draft, no one knew for sure where Delpit would go in a draft loaded at multiple positions. Luckily for Cleveland, they picked him up in the second round with their second pick of the draft. If Delpit didn’t play hurt for the majority of the 2019 college football season, it was clear he was going to be a first-round pick. Instead, he dropped in ranking, allowing the Browns to snag the best safety in the draft according to multiple analysts around the country.
There is a good chance that Browns’ fans will see Delpit start from day 1 in defensive coordinator Joe Woods’ scheme just because of how explosive this guy can be. When healthy, Delpit can be a force for the Browns going through the 2020 season. Expect a great year for the former LSU star who joins the Browns with other former LSU Tigers in Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr, and fellow 2019 teammate Jacob Phillips. Browns fans, as well as the NFL, need to keep an eye on this guy because he will ball out from the jump once 2020 rolls around.
Sheldrick Redwine (Signed until 2022, Free Agent in 2023)
2020 Contract: $855K
Going into the 2020 NFL offseason, many wondered if the Browns have faith in their second-year safety out of the University of Miami (FL). The fourth-round pick in last year’s NFL draft played mainly a backup role for the Browns behind Damarious Randall and Jermaine Whitehead.
Although Redwine did manage to play in 12 games, starting in five total, he accumulated 30 solo tackles for the season. Those 30 tackles ranked T-70th amongst all other safeties in the league according to Pro Football Focus.
The jury is still out if the Browns will give Redwine a shot as the full-time starter going into the 2020 or maybe look at one of the newly required veterans in Karl Joseph or Andrew Sendejo. The safety position battle will be an interesting one to keep an eye on for Redwine during training camp.
Andrew Sendejo (Signed until 2020, Free Agent in 2021)
2020 Contract: $2.234M
Going into the offseason, the Browns were expected to upgrade and replace the safety position after the departures of Randall and Whitehead. Once free agency opened the Browns just did that with the acquisition of 10-year veteran Andrew Sendejo.
While playing for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings last season, Sendejo managed to accumulate 28 solo tackles and three interceptions. Those 28 tackles were ranked T-74th around the league at safety along with three interceptions being ranked T-8th by Pro Football Focus. The undrafted veteran from 2010 has carved himself a nice career overall. He has spent the majority of his career in Minnesota, where he played for head coach Kevin Stefanski and defensive coordinator Joe Woods.
Given the veteran experience at the position, along with having played with Stefanski and Woods, there is a good chance Sendejo could be a starter for the Browns in the 2020 season. He brings a veteran presence and leadership into a positional group that had a massive turnover in the offseason, not to mention getting Delpit in the draft.
Expect an excellent “prove yourself” year for Sendejo since the Browns signed him to a one-year contract. If Sendejo has a good season for the Browns, there’s a good chance he might get an extension sometime during the season or next offseason by the Browns.
Karl Joseph (Signed until 2020, Free Agent in 2021)
2020 Contract: $2.431M
Along with bringing in veteran Andrew Sendejo, the Browns also acquired Karl Joseph I’m free agency this year on a one-year, $2.431M deal. The 14th overall pick from the 2016 draft is trying to prove that he still has what it takes to play in the league after spending most of his career with the Raiders.
While playing in nine games last season, he managed 36 solo tackles and one interception. When compared to the safeties in the rest of the league, he was ranked T-60th in tackles and T-44rd in interceptions by Pro Football Focus. There’s a good chance he could be seeing a backup role for the Browns this year unless he wows the coaches in training camp. The additions of Andrew Sendejo in free agency and highly touted draft pick in Grant Delpit might make that a hard battle to have for Joseph.
Joseph, like Sendejo, is looking to have a “prove yourself” season to try to get paid in the 2021 offseason. It will be an interesting season for him in this positional group.
Overall, the safety room for the Browns did seem to get better in the off-season despite the departures of Randall and Whitehead. Getting veteran leadership and experience in Andrew Sendejo will prove dividends for the younger guys in Grant Delpit and Sheldrick Redwine. Furthermore, even the acquisition of Karl Joseph will give a much-needed boost of depth at the position as the 2020 season goes along. The season will be interesting for the safety position as they try to figure out who will start for the Browns this upcoming season, so all eyes need to be on the upcoming battles. Training camp will be a fun one to watch if there is one for this group of players for the Browns.