CLEVELAND — The Browns are continuing to bolster their secondary in free agency and are signing former Rams cornerback Troy Hill to a 4-year, $24-million deal.
Hill, 29 and a native of Youngstown, will return home to Northeast Ohio as the newest member of the Browns.
The six-year NFL veteran will rejoin his Rams teammate, safety John Johnson, in Cleveland, who was recently signed by the Browns. Hill and Johnson are coming from last year's No. 1 ranked defense in the league. Johnson shared an Instagram story Thursday evening with the news of Hill's deal with the Browns, writing "Yessss Sirrrrrr..... Troy back to his roots."
Last season with the Rams, Hill recorded 77 total tackles, three interceptions (two of which were pick-sixes), 10 passes defended, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Pro Football Focus graded Hill at a 74.9 overall last season and noted he allowed the fewest receptions (23) of any cornerback with a minimum of 300 coverage snaps. He played in 16 games for the Rams and was on the field for 95% of their defensive snaps.
Hill, who will join playmaker Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, who is expected to return after missing last season with a shoulder injury, can provide the Browns versatility as he moved from primarily playing the outside to moving inside to cover the slot for the Rams last season.
Browns general manager Andrew Berry addressed the cornerback position before free agency began and made it clear it would be a position of importance for the team this offseason.
“In terms of the position, you can never have enough corners. You really can’t, especially in this defense. That is always an area that we will want to be deep going into the year. They are hard to find, but it is obviously an area that we want to continue to be deep,” Berry said.
Berry has made the defense a top priority so far this offseason, the way he did with the offense last year, adding Johnson, defensive end Takkarist McKinley, and re-signing veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.