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Browns sign ex-Steelers safety Morgan Burnett, AAF quarterback

By Alex Butler
Browns sign ex-Steelers safety Morgan Burnett, AAF quarterback
The Pittsburgh Steelers released strong safety Morgan Burnett (L) on Monday despite two years remaining on his contract. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

April 5 (UPI) -- The Cleveland Browns are adding to their secondary by bringing in former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Morgan Burnett.

Cleveland announced the signings of Burnett and former Alliance of American Football quarterback Garrett Gilbert on Friday. Burnett's deal is for two years.

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The 30 year old defender was a third round pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2010 NFL Draft. He played his first eight seasons with the Packers and won a Super Bowl with the NFC North franchise in 2011. Burnett signed a three-year, $14.5 million deal with the Steelers in March of 2018, before being cut on Monday.

The 6-foot-1, 209-pound defensive back had 30 tackles, six passes defensed and one tackle for a loss in 11 games last season in Pittsburgh. Burnett tallied at least 100 total tackles in four consecutive seasons from 2011 through 2014. He had a career-high 143 tackles in 2014 with the Packers.

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Gilbert, 27, completed 60.6 percent of his throws for a league-high 2,152 yards, and 13 touchdowns, while leading the Orlando Apollos to a 7-1 record in the AAF. He entered the NFL as a sixth round pick by the St. Louis Rams in the 2014 NFL Draft.

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The SMU product also spent time with the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and Carolina Panthers, before his AAF tenure. Gilbert also attended Lake Travis High School, the same school as Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Cleveland needed help at strong safety after trading Jabrill Peppers to the New York Giants this off-season. Gilbert is expected to be a third-string option at quarterback, behind Mayfield and Drew Stanton. Burnett will compete with Eric Murray for the strong safety job.

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