Browns Sign CB Justin Hardee

The Browns’ special teams have received a boost. Veteran cornerback Justin Hardee was signed on Tuesday, per a team announcement.

Hardee has seen a total of two defensive snaps over the past four seasons, with his contributions coming all-but exclusively on special teams. The 30-year-old gunner has excelled on kick and punt coverages during his career, which began with a four-year run in New Orleans. Following his time with the Saints, Hardee signed with the Jets on a three-year, $6.75MM deal.

The former UDFA served as New York’s special teams captain during his time there, including the 2022 season which resulted in a Pro Bowl nod. Hardee made 14 special teams tackles that year, the second-highest total of his career. A hamstring injury interrupted his 2023 campaign, however, limiting him to 11 contests.

Instead of re-upping with the Jets, Hardee has elected to join his hometown team. He is originally from Cleveland and attended Glenville High School before his college career, which took place at Illinois. Hardee will now look to continue working as a special teams ace, something which has allowed him to remain in the league for 107 combined regular and postseason NFL games.

In addition, Hardee will of course be able to serve as a depth option in the secondary. Cleveland has a strong CB trio of Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson Jr. and Greg Newsome set to serve as starters. Hardee will line up as a second-team option in that capacity while providing his new team with considerable third phase experience.

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