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Browns sign versatile CB Troy Hill

Hill, a Youngstown native, has shined in the slot and on the outside since entering the NFL


Troy Hill is coming back to Northeast Ohio.

Hill, who led all NFL players with three defensive touchdowns in 2020, signed Monday with the Browns, who are set to add another versatile defensive back to their secondary.

"Troy fits in great," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. "He was a very productive player out there in Los Angeles. Played inside and outside, he makes plays on the ball, he is part of the front, he is good in coverage, so really looking forward to having him play a big role in this defense."

Hill, who was born in nearby Youngstown, spent the past five seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. He steadily took on more and more responsibility and was utilized as an every-game starter in 2020, the most productive season of his NFL career. Hill, playing primarily in the slot, started all 16 games, registered a career-high 77 tackles and intercepted three passes, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Hill also recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown, giving him an NFL-best three defensive scores.

Hill will reunite with his former teammate in Los Angeles, S John Johnson III, who signed with the Browns last week. They were two of the top players in a Rams defense that finished 2020 ranked No. 1 in total defense and No. 1 in pass defense. 

Hill is the fourth major addition the Browns have made to their defense via free agency, joining Johnson, DE Takkarist McKinley and LB Anthony Walker.

Hill will join a Browns group of cornerbacks that is set to have a handful of new faces in key spots. Pro Bowler Denzel Ward and former second-round pick Greedy Williams are set to return, but two regular starters from last season — Terrance Mitchell and Kevin Johnson — are unrestricted free agents. The Browns are looking to improve in all areas, and that certainly includes pass defense, where the team finished 22nd in the league in 2020.

Hill played at the University of Oregon and entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He appeared in three games with the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie before joining the Rams as a waiver claim late in the season.

For his career, Hill has appeared in 73 games with 39 starts. He has 218 tackles and seven interceptions.