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Free Agency

5 things to know about new Browns CB Troy Hill

Hill, an Ohio native, scored three touchdowns last season and built one of his best years in the NFL

Troy Hill, one of the top cornerbacks who became available in free agency, has signed with the Browns.

Here are five things to know about Cleveland's newest cornerback:

1) Hill produced a career-best season in 2020 with 77 tackles, three interceptions, 10 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries — all of which were career highs. He also had three defensive touchdowns, two of which were from interceptions, and was a key player for the Los Angeles Rams as they built the top-ranked defense in the NFL.

2) Hill checks off one of the biggest areas Browns Executive Vice President and GM Andrew Berry covets in players for his secondary: versatility. Hill has experience both in the slot and on the outside, a skill that isn't easy for cornerbacks to consistently harness, and he showcased it all over the field last season with the Rams and their top-tier secondary. Hill and All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey were used interchangeably from the slot and outside positions last year, and they occasionally received help from … safety John Johnson III, whom the Browns signed last week.

3) Hill is a Youngstown native but never played high school football in Ohio. He moved to St. Bonaventure, California, early in his high school career and became one of the top cornerbacks in the state. He left St. Bonaventure as a three-star recruit and was ranked the No. 32 cornerback in the country.

4) Hill went undrafted as a rookie in 2015. He registered three interceptions — one of which went for a pick-six — in his four years at Oregon and 18 pass breakups in 2014 but had to settle for a contract as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played in three games, was waived in the final weeks of the season, claimed by the New England Patriots, waived again and settled with the Rams in their final weeks as a franchise in St. Louis. He stayed with the Rams until the end of 2020 and left with seven career interceptions.

5) Hill is the Browns' fourth new free-agent addition to the defense this offseason and joins Johnson, DE Takkarist McKinley and LB Anthony Walker as the team's newest players. He'll join Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury, in Cleveland's cornerbacks room and should be another weapon for the type of versatile playbook defensive coordinator Joe Woods is looking to deploy in 2021.

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