Browns sign Mingo

CLEVELAND – In a negotiation process that was anything but speedy, the Browns signed first-round draft pick Barkevious Mingo to a four-year contract Sunday.

Now the defensive end turned linebacker from LSU can show coaches how speedy he is when rushing quarterbacks.

Mingo became the final of the Browns’ five draft choices to sign. He joined rookies for practice Sunday, missing only one on-field workout in preparation for Thursday’s start of training camp.

Various media reports set the contract’s worth at $16 million. The signing bonus is close to $10 million.

Mingo was the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft. He’ll be asked to transition from end to outside linebacker, where he’ll compete with free-agent arrival Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard for a starting spot.

Mingo worked behind Kruger and Sheard during a minicamp in early June. Kruger brings four years of experience, including a key role on the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl winning team last season. He had nine sacks in the regular season and two in a win over San Francisco in the Super Bowl.

Sheard started the last two seasons at end, registering 8.5 sacks in 2011 and seven in 2012.

Mingo is known for his speed off the edge, but he didn’t produce big sack numbers at LSU (4.5 last season and 15 for his college career). The Browns hope a switch from the contain philosophy he played at LSU to a more aggressive system under first-year defensive coordinator Ray Horton will allow Mingo’s pass-rushing skills to surface.

Mingo was hit with a variety of questions about his lack of ideal weight for a linebacker during an early May rookie camp. He weighed 237 at the camp with the plan of adding a few pounds before late July.

Mingo believes too much has been made about his weight.

“You hit; you tackle; you run; you catch,” Mingo said. “It’s football.”

Coach Rob Chudzinski wants to be sure the added weight won’t slow down Mingo, who ran the 200 in 22.7 and the 400 in 48.5 as a high school track star in Monroe, Louisiana.

“Different guys have different body types and different weights they play the best at,” Chudzinski said. “You look at guys like (former defensive end) Jason Taylor to the bigger guys. It’s a matter of getting him in here and spending some time with (strength) coach (Brad) Rolle and bringing him up to speed. All those things will work themselves out.”