Browns Agree To Terms With DT Dalvin Tomlinson On 4-Year, $57M Deal

The Cleveland Browns had a hole along their defensive front entering free agency. They just filled it. Free agent defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson has agreed to terms to come to the AFC North, according to various reports shortly before midnight, first reported by Ian Rapoport.

The deal is reportedly worth $57 million over four years with $27.5 million guaranteed at signing. That puts Tomlinson 13th among interior defensive linemen in terms of average annual salary, coming in at $14.75 million per season, between Cameron Heyward and Fletcher Cox.

The Browns ranked in the mid-20s or worse in every major rushing defensive category last season, allowing 2,295 rushing yards on 488 attempts with 22 rushing touchdowns. Only 10 teams saw fewer rushing attempts against them, but even fewer did worse defending them, allowing 4.7 yards per carry.

Tomlinson comes over from the Minnesota Vikings after completing a two-year, $21 million contract. A 2017 second-round draft pick out of Alabama by the New York Giants, the 29-year-old is set to get his first taste of the AFC North.

Outside of Myles Garrett, the Browns did not have great stability along the defensive line last season. And they will have to seek a replacement, presumably, for Jadeveon Clowney, who said at the end of last year that he fully expects to be elsewhere in 2023.

Cleveland relied upon a rotation at defensive tackle last season, primarily with Jordan Elliott and Taven Bryan. Elliott was a third-round pick in 2020, moving into the starting lineup on a full-time basis in 2020. Bryan came over from the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. Perrion Winfrey and Tommy Togiai were also in the mix along the interior.

The Browns lost their best interior defender two years ago when Larry Ogunjobi signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022 but is due to be a free agent again.

Tomlinson represents an immediate upgrade for a Browns team that was looking to improve its run defense, but there is still work to do. And they will have other holes to fill elsewhere on the roster, on both sides of the ball.

Tomlinson has played against the Steelers once, in his second season with the Giants in 2018, a 26-16 Steelers win. He finished that game with only one tackle on 32 snaps. He has started all 93 games in which he has played since he was drafted.

Over the course of six seasons, Tomlinson has amassed 288 tackles with 26 for loss, 13 sacks, 37 hits, two forced fumbles, and seven batted passes. His best year was likely in 2020, recording 49 tackles with eight for loss, 3.5 sacks, 10 hits, and four batted passes.

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