Meet Browns DBs Phillip Gaines, Ashton Lampkin, and Howard Wilson

The Cleveland Browns used the No. 4 overall pick in 2018 to draft a much-needed defensive back in Denzel Ward. Now, there has been another shake-up in the Browns’ secondary with the departure of Jabrill Peppers via trade with the New York Giants.

It’s well-known the Browns have made several splashes during the 2019 offseason. Aside from the headlines, however, John Dorsey has been acquiring talent across the board, especially in the secondary.

Phillip Gaines

The recent re-signing of Phillip Gaines shows that Dorsey doesn’t forget anyone he has scouted or drafted. Gaines has been tied to Dorsey since his college days at Rice University.

Originally selected by John Dorsey and the Chiefs in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Gaines has appeared in 52 career games with 22 starts. He has totaled 132 tackles, one interception, 16 passes defenses, and two forced fumbles. Phillip Gaines signed a one-year, $895,000 contract with the Browns that includes a $45,000 signing bonus and $45,000 guaranteed. In 2019, Gaines will earn a base salary of $805,000, a signing bonus of $45,000 and a workout bonus of $45,000, while carrying a cap hit of $735,000. Gaines is now 27 years old and will likely be competing for a roster spot and potentially a starting job in 2019.

Ashton Lampkin

Ashton Lampkin was an undrafted rookie in 2017 who was picked up and signed by the Kansas City Chiefs. His explosive play on special teams is what elevated Lampkin to earn a roster spot. After a good showing in camp, his 2017 rookie season ended abruptly with a torn ACL. The Chiefs then reached an injury settlement with Lampkin and let him walk in August of 2018. After a short stint with the Bills in 2018, Lampkin finished the 2018 season on the Browns practice squad. The 24-year-old is now coming into his third year in the NFL.

Ashton Lampkin signed a 2 year, $1,080,000 contract with the Cleveland Browns that has an average annual salary of $540,000. In 2019, Lampkin will earn a base salary of $495,000, while carrying a cap hit of $495,000. Although it is unlikely that he will be a starter for Cleveland he should provide depth and excellent special teams play in 2019.

Howard Wilson

Howard Wilson was drafted by the Browns in the fourth round of the 2017 draft.  Although he has yet to play in a game as a professional to date, this year we could finally see the emergence of the defensive back from Houston.

On May 13, 2017, the second day of rookie minicamp, Wilson suffered a fractured patella which would later require surgery. Due to the injury, Wilson spent the entire 2017 season on the physically unable to perform list and was never activated.

On June 12, 2018, Wilson had surgery to repair a torn left patellar tendon suffered the previous year when he broke his patella. This also required surgery. He was ruled out for the second season in a row and he was placed on the injured reserve the following day.

It sounds like a lot for a player to come back from, but Howard Wilson hasn’t lost his talent or his drive and is expected to be back for the 2019 season in Cleveland. When healthy he is an aggressive player who is also referred to as a ball hawk. It’s important to realize that Wilson is still only 23 years old and is on a team-friendly contract for years to come after missing his first two full seasons. Howard Wilson was an exciting defensive talent when he was last healthy, and he will be looking to earn a roster spot in training camp this year.


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