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.
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