7 Chargers free-agent targets with ties to Brandon Staley

Jason Reed
Los Angeles Chargers v San Francisco 49ers
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5. John Johnson III, S

After failing to find a trade partner for him, the Cleveland Browns opted to release safety John Johnson as he was not living up to the contract that he signed with the team. Johnson was once a promising safety that has taken a step back since he left LA.

Johnson's best season was arguably in 2020 with Brandon Staley as the DC. It is the season that got him paid by the Browns and had many thinking he was sneakily one of the better safeties in the entire league.

While Johnson has not been playing up to par in recent years there is still some potential to bring him in. Johnson can help fill the void left behind by Nasir Adderley and he also has the positional versatility to play in different roles in the secondary.

It would benefit Staley and the defense if the team got someone who not only knows what kind of defense that Staley runs but has thrived in it in the past. That is exactly who Johnson is, making it an appealing signing.

And the icing on the cake if the fact that Johnson is very similar to Rapp in that there are multiple connections on the coaching staff. In addition to Staley, Johnson has also played under new Bolts linebacker coach Jeff Howard, who was the defensive backs coach and pass game coordinator in Cleveland from 2020 through 2022.