The Cleveland Browns have claimed former UNC football standout and second round draft pick M.J. Stewart off waivers.
Former Tar Heel and 2018 2nd round draft pick M.J. Stewart will be suiting up in new threads after his shocking release by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
What many saw coming, but not so suddenly, the Buccaneers decided it was time to move on from the defensive back, allowing the Cleveland Browns to intercept Stewart off waivers before another team could. Stewart suited up for the Buccaneers for 21 games in his short two-year stint there, and covered the slot for 88 percent of his defensive back snaps before eventually seeing playing time shortened.
The Browns were quick to claim the young former second round pick in an effort to help the secondary, which struggled against the pass last season with quarterbacks having an average of 89.0 QB rating. Cleveland, who plays in an offensive heavy division with quarterbacks like most valuable player Lamar Jackson, No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow, and the return of two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger, will certainly utilize Stewart. Expect Stewart to find his place early with the defensive backs, and to see time against the slot.
Stewart will join a young core with Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, and rookie AJ Green all being 23 years of age or younger. Stewart will lean on veterans like Kevin Johnson, Terrence Mitchell, and defensive back coach Jeff Howard. This will be the perfect and ideal fresh start for Stewart to reshape his career, and show the NFL what Tar Heel fans already know and why he was drafted as high in the 2018 draft as he was.
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