Browns’ $21 Million Addition Slams Free Agent Market: ‘Complete Trash’

Getty Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and GM Andrew Berry

New Cleveland Browns safety Juan Thornhill has made his feelings known about the 2023 free agent market in the NFL, calling it “complete trash.”

Juan Thornhill Thinks Players Are Being Taken Advantage Of

In a tweet on Monday, March 20, safety Juan Thornhill, whom the Browns signed to a three-year, $21 million deal on March 15, let his feelings be known about this year’s free agent market.

“So are we just going to sit back and watch all of these players get taken advantage of? This market was complete trash,” wrote Thornhill.

His tweet was retweeted by Tennessee Titans cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr., who wrote, “Everybody on a 1-year ain’t it,” to which Thornhill replied, “It’s wild, bro. Something’s fishy for sure.”

In the replies, many fans were quick to offer the opinion that the new collective bargaining agreement for rookies is the problem.

“The new CBA with the rookie deals is one thing. Then teams are realizing damn, just paid this dude 4 years 100m and he quit trying once he got paid. Now everyone gonna stay on prove it deals,” wrote one fan.

Another added, “The league has you on a hook. You blew it when you gave them the rookie cap. Now vets getting hurt and replaced by cheaper rookies? Get it?”

Essentially, many veteran players are signing one-year “prove it” deals. Teams don’t want to tie up a lot of money in multi-year deals on veteran players they aren’t sure about, especially when they can sign rookies for relatively inexpensive contracts.

The new collective bargaining agreement in regards to rookies says that every drafted player gets a guaranteed four-year contract and the ones that go in the first round have a built-in fifth-year option that they must exercise between their third and fourth years in the league. The first-year minimum salary is just over $700,000, but each team has a rookie compensation pool that they can allocate in any way they see fit.

Fans were also quick to say “poor you” to Thornhill, though it doesn’t seem like his tweet was in response to his own deal with the Browns.

“Poor you with your 21 million dollar deal,” wrote one NFL fan.

Another added, “Oh no, I’m only making 8 mil a year” with a crying emoji.

A third fan wrote, “Nothing like complaining about getting paid millions of dollars.”

Juan Thornhill ‘Excited’ to Join Cleveland’s Roster

In his press conference after signing with Cleveland, Thornhill said the Browns fans have been “amazing” so far and he’s excited to join the team.

“The Browns fans have been amazing. They have been messaging me. They have been showing all of their support since the day that the announcement came out,” said Thornhill. “I am super excited about it because I have heard many good things about the Dawg Pound. The fans out here are crazy, and that is what I love to be a part of. When I come out of that tunnel, I want the fans to jack me up and make me ready to run through a wall. That is what I hear about Cleveland, and I am excited.”

Thornhill is also enthusiastic about new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, saying he likes what Schwartz is doing.

“[Coach Schwartz] just drew up a couple of plays on the board, and I just liked what he was drawing up. I can see me stepping in and playing a big role of helping this team tremendously and making a lot of plays for this team … He got me pumped up, that is all I can say, already just talking a little bit about football, the scheme and how he sees me in the defense. He got me ready to go for sure.”

The two-time Super Bowl winner played four years with the Kansas City Chiefs before hitting the free agent market. In that time, he recorded 225 total tackles and eight interceptions.

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