Troy Hill

Browns, CB Troy Hill Agree To Deal

The Browns have now received multiple commitments from ex-Rams secondary starters this week. Following their agreement with safety John Johnson, the Browns are signing cornerback Troy Hill, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

A multiyear starter in Los Angeles, Hill will come to Cleveland on a four-year, $24MM contract. Hill will join Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams as the Browns’ top corners. Assuming the Browns pick up Ward’s fifth-year option, all three will be signed through at least 2022.

Hill, 29, has experience as a boundary and slot corner, giving the Browns options. He also stands to provide insurance after Williams missed all of last season with an injury.

The Browns brought in Kevin Johnson on a one-year deal in 2020, but the former first-round pick has not been re-signed. Born in northeast Ohio but having gone to high school in southern California, Hill will return to his home state after multiple productive seasons with the Rams.

Last season, the Rams used Hill on 95% of their defensive snaps — well up from his 2019 usage — and he graded as a top-30 corner, per Pro Football Focus. Hill intercepted three passes last season and returned two of those picks for touchdowns. In 2019, Hill allowed opposing QBs to collectively amass a 61.3 passer rating and complete just 45% of their passes when targeting him. He stands to help a Browns defense that rated 25th in DVOA last season.

The Rams turned to Hill as a key cog, with the team having traded Marcus Peters to the Ravens during the 2019 season. Hill, however, played five seasons with Los Angeles and started 39 games. He and Johnson will arrive on long-term contracts, which run counter to GM Andrew Berry‘s strategy a year ago. In 2020, Berry supplemented his rookie-deal troops with the likes of Johnson, Andrew Sendejo and Karl Joseph in the secondary. The second-year GM opted to devote more significant resources to the secondary this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Chiefs, Brown, Bolts, Rams

Andy Reid has worked with an MVP before (Brett Favre) and coached Pro Bowlers in Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Alex Smith. But Chiefs GM Brett Veach makes the case the seventh-year Kansas City HC has never had the kind possibilities for creativity, without limitations, that Patrick Mahomes provides.

I think Andy understands that the talent he has in this kid is like nothing he’s ever had before,” Veach said, via Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star. “Not to say he didn’t have good quarterbacks before, not to say he didn’t have a great rapport or relationship with them, but I think Andy’s creativity is not restricted now in any way, not by mental, not by arm strength, not by mobility. Because sometimes you get super-smart guys, and maybe they don’t have this … or you get guys that don’t have this, but they have that.”

Over the course of Reid’s Chiefs tenure, he has steadily incorporated college concepts into his offense. He helped coax the best season of Smith’s career in 2017, but Mahomes’ runaway MVP season obviously established a new bar for the Reid offense’s modern capabilities. In Pryor’s expansive article detailing the relationship between Reid and Mahomes, Veach adds the 21st-year HC not having to scrap any of his play designs separates his partnership with Mahomes.

Here is the latest out of the West divisions, continuing first with (a given) the Antonio Brown saga:

  • Brown is about out of options, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (on Twitter) Mike Mayock‘s comments Sunday set the stage for potential Raiders discipline if the mercurial receiver does not practice soon. Another Brown option: a lawsuit that would allow him an injunction, thus enabling him for a time to wear his old helmet while the case plays out. That would be a rather extreme response, especially coming after a report indicating Brown was unlikely to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. But that was before NFL- and NFLPA-backed testing struck down Brown’s 2011 Schutt AiR Advantage helmet solution bid failed. Brown could still appeal, but it does not seem probable he would prevail. The Raiders’ dress-rehearsal game is Thursday; it is quite possible, if not likely, Brown will not play in the preseason.
  • Derwin James‘ absence will test the Chargers, but it makes their March re-signing of Adrian Phillips all the more important. The sixth-year safety/All-Pro special-teamer made a big difference playing as a hybrid linebacker in the Chargers’ Round 1 win over the Ravens, and Eric Williams of ESPN.com notes he will receive first crack at replacing James. Phillips (94 tackles in 2018 before a two-turnover wild-card performance) started Sunday’s preseason game against the Saints.
  • The contract-year statuses of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters may force the Rams to consider the big picture when finalizing their roster. Les Snead could well keep an extra corner this season because of the potential 2020 departures of the team’s starting corners, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic writes (subscription required). In addition to Talib and Peters, slot starter Nickell Robey-Coleman, Troy Hill and third-round pick David Long will be roster locks. That leaves one or two spots left for a host of players who have shown well in camp, with Bonsignore singling out 2018 waiver claim Darious Williams and 2017 UDFA Kevin Peterson as the leaders to round out the corner corps. The latter missed all of 2018 due to injury, but both players have had standout camps. In addition to the Colts, Patriots and Saints, the Rams may begin receiving trade calls on some corners.

Rams Extend CB Troy Hill

Previously given an original-round tender, Troy Hill agreed to a Rams extension. The Rams and the veteran cornerback agreed to terms on a two-year deal with a base value of $5.25MM, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

This deal could be worth as much as $8.25MM, with the additional $3MM available through playing-time incentives. Should Hill play in 52.5% of the Rams’ defensive snaps, he will collect this additional $3MM, Garafolo adds.

Hill had not signed his RFA tender, worth just more than $2MM, but is now under Rams control through 2020. A former UDFA, Hill started seven games for the Rams last season. Aqib Talib‘s injury opened the door for extended Hill playing time.

The 27-year-old defender played 450 snaps last season, intercepted two passes and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 66 corner (among the 112 that qualified for full-time status). The Oregon product produced a higher grade in 2017. He has started 14 games during his three-year Los Angeles tenure.

While Talib, Marcus Peters and Nickell Robey-Coleman still comprise the Rams’ top cornerback trio, both Talib and Peters are in the final years of their respective contracts. Robey-Coleman is signed through 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Tender LB Cory Littleton, Others

Cory Littleton established himself as a surefire Rams starter last season. He figures to be a key component of Los Angeles’ 2019 defense.

The Rams placed a second-round tender on Littleton. That will come out to a $3.1MM salary for 2019, should no extension be reached before June’s RFA signing deadline.

A fourth-year UDFA, Littleton broke out for a 125-tackle, four-sack season in 2018 — his first as a full-time starter. With so many big contracts on the Rams’ roster, it helps they can get quality production from players with rookie-deal salaries. While the $3.1MM will take Littleton to a slightly higher tax bracket, that is a manageable figure for the Rams.

In addition to Littleton, the Rams made the following moves with other restricted and exclusive-rights free agents:

RFAs tendered at original-round level: DB Blake Countess, RB Malcolm Brown, CB Troy Hill

ERFAs tendered: DE Morgan Fox, CB Dominique Hatfield, WR KhaDarel Hodge, CB Kevin Peterson, WR JoJo Natson

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/12/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day.

RFAs

Tendered at second-round level:

Tendered at original-round level:

Non-Tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-Tendered:

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/19/17

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Seattle Seahawks

Rams Make Cuts, Reach 53-Man Max

The Rams added a player via trade on Saturday, but their real focus was on mass cuts to get down to the 53-man max. Here’s a rundown of their moves.

Waived:

  • DT Omarius Bryant
  • WR K.D. Cannon
  • OL Parker Collins
  • K Travis Coons
  • CB Carlos Davis
  • LB Kevin Davis (waived/injured)
  • OL Michael Dunn
  • OL Jake Eldrenkamp
  • LB Josh Forrest (waived/injured)
  • DB Tyquwan Glass
  • RB Aaron Green
  • DB Isaiah Johnson
  • DB Michael Jordan
  • OL Alex Kozan
  • OLB Willie Mays
  • LB Cassanova Mckinzy
  • WR Paul McRoberts
  • OLB Andy Mulumba
  • OL Pace Murphy
  • LB Folarin Orimolade
  • DB Aarion Penton
  • NT Mike Purcell
  • FB Sam Rogers
  • WR Shakeir Ryan
  • DT Casey Sayles
  • WR Brandon Shippen
  • WR Nelson Spruce (waived/injured)
  • OLB Carlos Thompson
  • RB Lenard Tillery (waived/injured)
  • OLB Orlovsky was signed in July, but he was facing long odds since the Rams already had Jared Goff and Sean Mannion as their top two QBs.
  • G Cody Wichmann
  • TE Travis Wilson

Released:

Reserve/Injured:

Reserve/PUP:

Reserve/Suspended:

Orlovsky was signed in July, but he was facing long odds since the Rams already had Jared Goff and Sean Mannion as their top two QBs. Since being drafted in 2005, the 34-year-old has made just 12 career starts.

Troy Hill Gets Two-Game Suspension

The NFL has suspended Rams cornerback Troy Hill two games for a violation of its substance abuse policy, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The ban stems from Hill’s arrest on a DUI charge in November.

Troy Hill (Vertical)

Although Hill graded as one of Pro Football Focus’ 10 worst corners last year, his second season in the league, the former Bengal saw action in the majority of the Rams’ games (12) and made four starts. The 25-year-old may have played a full season had he avoided off-field trouble, but the Rams cut him shortly after his arrest. The club re-signed Hill to its practice squad the next day, though, and added him back to its active roster in mid-December.

If Hill remains with Los Angeles through the summer, he’ll be eligible to participate in training camp and the team’s preseason games. His reinstatement would come prior to the Rams’ Week 3 trek to San Francisco.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/13/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Seahawks have made a series of roster moves, announcing that they’ve signed running back Kelvin Taylor and cornerback Ronald Powell to their 53-man roster while placing running back Troymaine Pope and fullback Will Tukuafu on IR. Tay is the son of former NFL great Fred Taylor.
  • The Bears have signed tight end MyCole Pruitt off the Vikings‘ practice squad, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispacth, while Chicago announced that it has cleared a roster spot by waiving defensive back De’Vante Bausby. Pruitt, a 2015 fifth-round pick, has played in 18 games over the past two years.
  • The Packers will sign linebacker Jordan Tripp, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Tripp, primarily a special teamer, was recently waived off Seattle’s IR.
  • John Hughes won’t be staying home alone any longer, as the Buccaneers announced that they’ve re-signed the veteran defensive tackle. Hughes, 28, has already played in three games for Tampa this season.
  • The Ravens announced that they’ve placed running back Lorenzo Taliaferro on injured reserve and signed linebacker Lamar Louis to the active roster. Taliaferro, a 2014 fourth-round, hasn’t been able to get on the field in Baltimore, as he’s managed only 14 carries over the past two seasons. The Ravens are also promoting WR Michael Campanaro, tweets Jeff Zriebec of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Rams have signed cornerback Troy Hill from the practice squad and placed tight end Cory Harkey on injured reserve, the team announced today. Hill had been waived following a DUI arrest, but has now earned a second chance on the roster.
  • The Bills signed safety Shamiel Gary and offensive lineman Michael Ola to the active roster, per a club announcement. Linebacker Bryson Albright has been waived in a corresponding transaction.
  • The Redskins announced that they’ve promoted linebacker Nick Moody from the practice squad to the active roster and placed defensive end Anthony Lanier on injured reserve. Lanier, 26, has 25 games of NFL experience under his belt since entering the league as a San Francisco draft pick in 2013.
  • The Cardinals have swapped out punters once again, announcing that they’ve waived Drew Butler in favor of Matt Wile, who was promoted from the practice squad. Arizona also signed quarterback Zac Dysert off the taxi squad.
  • The Falcons have re-signed cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, the team announced today. BWW had just been waived last week in order to clear a spot for wide receiver depth.
  • The Browns announced that they’ve promoted DL Gabe Wright from the practice squad to active roster. Wright, a former Detroit draft pick, was claimed by Cleveland earlier this year.