Browns Add Ex-Vikings Defender
The Cleveland Browns will travel to Houston on Saturday for a Wildcard playoff date with the upstart Texans, the first game on the NFL’s postseason agenda.
And they’ll do so with freshly-signed former Minnesota Vikings defender in their building, cornerback Kalon Barnes.
Browns Add Ex-Vikings Defender
The Browns’ main social media account tweeted Wednesday, “We’ve designated S Grant Delpit for return from injured reserve. CB Kalon Barnes was also signed to the practice squad.”
It is unclear if Barnes will be activated to the gameday run during playoff game(s), but he’ll be one injury away if not. Cleveland is favored to defeat Houston by 2.5 points.
Barnes joined the New York Jets’ practice squad in October but was waived on December 22nd. He lived on the open market for about three weeks before the recent Browns relationship. Here’s his career resume to date:
- Carolina Panthers (2022)
- Miami Dolphins (2022)
- Minnesota Vikings (2022)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (2023)
- New York Jets (2023)
- Cleveland Browns (2023–present)
Barnes, 25, was on the outside looking in during Vikings roster trimdowns in August and did not get an invitation to the practice squad like 16 others. The Vikings originally grabbed him from the Miami Dolphins practice squad. He experienced special teams action down the stretch of 2022 for the Vikings against the New York Giants (regular season game) and Chicago Bears. The Baylor alumnus was then retained by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah this offseason and battled for a roster spot at training camp and in the preseason, to no avail.
Pro Football Network ranked the league’s fastest players last summer, and Barnes made the cut — at No. 2. His 4.23 forty at the 2022 NFL Combine was the fastest by any defensive player in the event’s history.
During the draft lead-up, few qualities exhilarate onlookers more than speed. Of course, the track record for “fastest guy in the draft” rarely translates to automatic stardom in the pros. But the sizzle of a team adding a weapon with gazelle speed is indeed enchanting. Sizzling speed is Barnes’ dance. Barnes played all four years at Baylor, tallying 3 interceptions in 35 collegiate games.
The Draft Network described Barnes’ game heading into the 2022 NFL Draft: “Barnes is primarily a zone corner that will tend to play with a tight cushion in his bail technique because he knows he is fast. Thornton has the make-up speed to catch up with receivers even when he waits too long to flip his hips and run. Barnes still has parts of his game that need to be developed and early in his NFL career, he will be best served to go to a defensive scheme that runs zone principles that he is familiar with from his time at Baylor.”
These are the Browns current cornerbacks:
- Denzel Ward
- Martin Emerson Jr.
- Greg Newsome II
- Kahlef Hailaasie
- Mike Ford
- Cameron Mitchell
- Vincent Gray
- Kalon Barnes
Cleveland’s defense ranks No. 1 in the NFL per EPA/Play.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).