The defense for the Cleveland Browns was a major issue last season and the front office has made an effort to address that side of the ball.
Last season the front office of the Cleveland Browns focused on improving the offensive side of the ball while making short-term buy-low type moves on the defense. Most of the moves on defense did not work out, but the good news is that they are using a similar approach on defense that they used on offense last season.
The Browns have already made two multi-year deals with John Johnson and Troy Hill. Cleveland also signed Takkarist McKinley, Anthony Walker, and Malik Jackson to one-year deals. These signings provide Cleveland with some options beyond next season on defense while keeping their flexibility to make future long-term investments.
Johnson and Hill should help solidify the Browns secondary and compliment what players the Browns already have. Adding the former Rams duo to Denzel Ward and Ronnie Harrison gives Cleveland a much better defensive backfield than last season. Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams both missed all of last season and they could contribute. The thing is that due to their injuries Cleveland must act if they are not on the roster. Make additions as if they do not exist and if they do contribute that is just a huge bonus.
The Browns defensive line got a huge boost with the additions of McKinley and Jackson. One of the signings by itself would not have done much, but both together allows each player to fill a role. It also takes pressure off of either player to perform as a starter and put together solid rotation to play alongside Myles Garrett.
Cleveland did re-sign Malcolm Smith, but that move is not as important as adding Walker from the Colts. Smith is a fine rotational/sub linebacker, the issue is that he is not a starter. Walker has played 66% or more defensive snaps over the past three seasons and that is exactly what the Browns need. Someone to come in, play the majority of snaps and make a ton of tackles. Check, check, and check.
Another defensive signing or two and a mostly defensive draft and this offseason for the Browns would go from good to great. Considering the way Cleveland has handled things so far shows that this could be how things are handled moving forward.