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5 Things to Know: Free Agency

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5 things to know about new Browns DT Andrew Billings

Andrew Billings signed with the Browns last week, moving a couple hundred miles north up I-71 after spending the past four years with the Bengals.

Here are five things to know about Cleveland's newest defensive tackle.

1. Over the past two seasons, Billings emerged as an every-game starter in the middle of Cincinnati's defensive line. He showed his adaptability and value by playing a significant role on the interior in a 4-3 base in 2018 and in the middle of a 3-4 and 5-2 in 2019. He appeared in all 32 games and started 30 of them. He had a combined 67 tackles and 3.5 sacks during that stretch.

2. Though he was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Billings has only been playing since 2017. His rookie season was wiped away by a knee injury in the preseason, which had begun with a lot of promise. "He was coming on pretty good," Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said during the 2017 preseason. "I did see him in pads for the first week of training camp and I'm like, man, this sucker is strong, and he's moving people backward. I think he's got it."

3. Billings emerged as a star at Baylor during his sophomore and junior seasons. He landed first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2014 after compiling 37 tackles and 11.5 for a loss. As a junior, Billings was even better, earning Co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors to go along with some All-American honors -- including first-team recognition from the Associated Press -- after posting 15 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He was projected as a second-round selection but ultimately fell to the fourth, where the Bengals nabbed him with the 122nd overall pick.

4. Billings drew major acclaim coming out of Waco (Texas) High School when he broke Mark Henry's state record in powerlifting. Billings bench pressed 500 pounds, squatted 805 pounds and deadlifted 705 for a combined 2,010 pounds. He was absolutely dominant on the field, too, collecting 132 pancake blocks as a senior and 134 as a junior. 

5. Both of Billings' parents were college athletes. His father Anthony played baseball at Paul Quinn College in Dallas. His mother Sylvia ran track at Mary-Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas. Both were there to watch Billings walk across the stage at Baylor in August 2018, when Billings returned to complete his coursework for his undergraduate degree. ""He had a big smile on his face today," Anthony said, "and we did, too."