The Pittsburgh Steelers released veteran safety Morgan Burnett earlier this week and it sounds like he’ll now continue his NFL career with a different AFC North team.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the Cleveland Browns are expected to sign Burnett on Friday. The Steelers had reportedly tried to trade Burnett prior to releasing him on April 1 and it wasn’t a shock that they failed in that attempt due to him being scheduled to earn a base salary of $5 million in 2019.
Burnett, who signed a three year, $14.35 million free agent contract with the Steelers on March 20, 2018, had reportedly asked Pittsburgh to release him several weeks ago as he didn’t like the way he was used last season. In the 11 games that he played in last season with the Steelers, Burnett registered just 30 total tackles to go along with 6 passes defensed. He missed four games early in the season due to a groin injury and another game later in the season due to a back issue.
By the time Burnett found himself fully healthy last season the Steelers already had rookie safety and first-round draft pick Terrell Edmunds somewhat heavily integrated into the defense. As a result of Edmunds playing heavily and a lot earlier than originally expected, Burnett wound up being mostly used in the team’s dime package. Burnett ended the 2018 season having played just under 400 total defensive snaps.
Burnett has only played in all 16 regular season games just twice during his NFL career with the last time coming in 2012 as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
According to Cabot’s report, Burnett is set to join new Browns safety Eric Murray, who was acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this week, in the competition at strong safety. The winner of that battle will likely play opposite free safety Damarious Randall, who Morgan played with in Green Bay, according to the report.