Browns Ink Former Ravens Cornerback to Deal

Chris Westry

Getty Donovan Peoples-Jones of the Cleveland Browns misses a pass defended by Chris Westry.

The Cleveland Browns have added to their already deep stable of defensive backs, signing former Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chris Westry to a deal on Tuesday.

The Browns officially announced the signing on Tuesday. Westry was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and has appeared in eight career games with two starts. He saw his most extensive action with the Ravens in 2021, where he appeared in six games and recorded three passes defensed.

Westry joins a deep depth chart at cornerback that includes Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome, Martin Emerson Jr., rookie Cameron Mitchell and A.J. Green.

The move comes after the Browns parted ways with linebacker Storey Jackson and defensive tackle Roderick Perry II. Neither had been a significant contributor for the Browns, appearing in a combined three games last season.

Cleveland is still fine-tuning its roster ahead of camp, which general manager Andrew Berry talked about at the start of the month once the NFL Draft wrapped up.

“There may be some other things that we’re looking to do either on the veteran market or trade market over the next several weeks,” Berry told ESPN Cleveland.

Browns Make Za’Darius Smith Trade Official

The Browns are filling the other open roster spot with Pro Bowl pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith, who comes over via trade from the Minnesota Vikings. The trade was reported on May 12 but was announced by the team on Tuesday.

The Browns get Smith along with a 2025 sixth-round pick and a 2025 seventh-round pick from the Vikings in exchange for two fifth-round picks — one in 2024 and the other in 2025. The move also makes a lot of financial sense for the Browns thanks to Smith restructuring his deal. The Vikings are set to eat around $1.17 million and Smith will count just $3.03 million against the cap, per Field Yates of ESPN.

Smith gives the Browns a capable Pro Bowl-caliber option opposite of Myles Garrett. He is coming off a year in Minnesota where he had 10 sacks, 44 tackles (15 for loss), a career-high five passes defensed and one forced fumble.

Cleveland had run out former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney as Garrett’s pass-rush partner the last two years but the relationship ended on a sour note at the end of last season. Clowney felt like he wasn’t being used correctly and the team gave Garrett more favorable matchups, which he expressed in an interview with Mary Kay Cabot of

“I just feel like I need to be around somebody that believes in me and my ability,” Clowney told “(It can’t) just be me believing in myself. I believe in myself more than anybody.”

Za’Darius Smith Latest Key Addition for Browns Defense

The Browns defense has got a face-lift this offseason, starting at the top. Cleveland brought in veteran defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to replace Joe Woods. In Schwartz’s scheme, getting pressure with his front seven is massively important.

“I like to call it an ‘attack defense,'” Schwartz said in February. “We’re not a ‘read’ team up front. We’re an ‘attack’ team. We’re going to be disruptive. We’re hitting spots. It’s probably not as wide as it used to be, but it’s pretty simple in theory.

“It allows the players to play fast and puts them in the best position to rush the quarterback and play the run in between.”

Schwartz should be able to keep his key pass-rushers fresh, with Ogbo Okoronkwo joining Garrett and Smith in the rotation. The Browns signed Okoronkwo this offseason with plans for him to potentially be the starter. However, he has started just eight games in his career with the Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans and learning from a pair of Pro Bowl vets while still contributing isn’t a bad option.

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