Damarious Randall is unapologetically authentic, and as the Cleveland Browns safety points out in a new Bleacher Report piece, that’s not going to change anytime soon.
“It might rub some people the wrong way,” Randall said, “but we do not care.”
Randall didn’t mince words when asked about the 2018 trade that brought him from Green Bay to Cleveland, taking aim at DeShone Kizer — the player who he was traded for that the Packers recently released.
“I knew it’d go down as one of the worst trades in Green Bay Packers history,” Randall said. “Any time I want to feel like I’m on my high horse, I still look back like, Damn, they really traded me for DeShone Kizer? No offense to him, but at the end of the day — c’mon now.”
Before the trade, Kizer had gone 0-15 as the starter in Cleveland, throwing 22 interceptions to just 11 touchdowns. Following his release from the Packers — where he threw just 42 passes in all, zero touchdowns and two interceptions as Aaron Rodgers’ understudy — Kizer signed with the Raiders.
Damarious Randall Thriving With Browns
Randall, the 30th overall pick in the 2015 draft, thrived with the change of scenery. Before arriving in Cleveland, Randall had played 1,734 of his 2,281 snaps with the Packers at corner. After the first-round pick departed Green Bay, then head coach Mike McCarthy admitted the Arizona State product was playing out of position.
“I think (free safety) is his natural position. I think we all recognize that. Him playing as much corner for us was the best thing for our defense at the time, with Morgan (Burnett) and Ha Ha (Clinton-Dix) and really utilizing the players the best way we can,” McCarthy said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Obviously, we’ve had issues outside with corners staying healthy the last two years and that’s a product of him playing out there, and he played it well when he was healthy, when he stays in the game.”
In his first full year at safety, Randall excelled, recording a career-high 85 tackles and four interceptions with the Browns. What doesn’t show up on the stat sheet is the healthy serving of swagger Randall brings to the Browns.
“I don’t have to hide in a shell to pretend anything,” Randall told Bleacher Report. “[General manager John] Dorsey likes whenever I talk trash, because he knows I’m going to back it up. Whenever you have people like that in your corner, you can play more freely. You can play more loose and with a lot more chemistry.”
Damarious Randall Due for Big Contract
Randall will make $9.069 million this season on a fifth-year team option the Browns executed in the offseason. It’s the final year of Randall’s rookie deal and with another strong season, he’ll likely be due a massive deal in the offseason.
A horde of safeties got paid this offseason, including Tennessee’s Kevin Byard ($14.1 million), Kansas City’s Tyrann Mathieu ($14 million a year), Washington’s Landon Collins ($14 million) and Baltimore’s Earl Thomas ($13.75 million).
“Safeties are definitely getting paid and it’s well, well, well-deserved,” Randall told Cleveland.com earlier this offseason. “For a couple of years the market was down and now teams are starting to see how valuable safeties are because there’s not a lot of good safeties in this league. So you have to pay the guys that deserve it.”
Randall will have a chance to prove that starting on Sept. 8 as the Browns take on the Titans to open us the NFL season.