Cleveland Browns find new starting safety in Juan Thornhill

The Cleveland Browns have signed former Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill to a three-year, $21 million deal, with $14 million guaranteed, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Thornhill is expected to replace John Johnson III as a starting safety alongside Grant Delpit.

Earlier Wednesday, the Browns officially announced they are releasing Johnson with the June 1 designation, saving them $9.75 million on their salary cap. Johnson started the past two seasons at safety in Cleveland.

Thornhill, 27, had 3 interceptions, 1 sack and a career-best 71 tackles last season. He was in on five tackles, including one for a loss, and had a pass defended in the Chiefs' Super Bowl LVII win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Thornhill has played four seasons for the Chiefs, starting 52 games, after being drafted in the second round from Virginia in 2019. He was an immediate starter but missed the Chiefs' Super Bowl championship run that season after tearing an ACL in the final game of the year against the Los Angeles Chargers.

He was a part-time starter in 2020 after returning from the injury and again in 2021 before becoming a full-time player again in 2022.

Thornhill has 8 interceptions, 20 passes defended and 234 tackles in his NFL career.

NFL Network was first to report news of Thornhill's deal with the Browns.

ESPN's Adam Teicher contributed to this report.