The Browns entered this offseason aware that they needed to be better defensively, especially in the secondary.
Cleveland has turned to the franchise that once called the Forest City home for reinforcements.
The Browns are signing former Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill to a four-year, $24 million deal, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation.
Hill joins fellow former Rams teammate John Johnson as the second Los Angeles defensive back to make the move from L.A. to Cleveland this week, as the Browns use free agency to strengthen their secondary heading into 2021.
Like Johnson, Hill is an immediate upgrade to a Browns defensive backfield that was decimated by injuries ( Greedy Williams , Grant Delpit) before the season even began, yet managed to perform well enough to end up in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Hill's move to Northeast Ohio is also a homecoming of sorts for him, as he grew up on the south side of Youngstown, Ohio, before moving to Ventura, California, to attend high school at St. Bonaventure.
Hill brings with him a top-30 coverage grade among all cornerbacks in the NFL in 2020, per Pro Football Focus, trailing Cleveland's top corner, Denzel Ward, by just four places in PFF's rankings. Hill played in the slot in Los Angeles and can be expected to do the same for the Browns, especially if they're able to get Williams back after he missed the entire 2020 season due to a nerve issue.
With Hill and Johnson joining the Browns, their secondary is already much better than it was in 2020. With each on contracts of at least three years and Ward due for an extension after either 2021 or 2022 (depending on whether Cleveland picks up his fifth-year option), much of the Browns' secondary is set for the next few years. If Johnson and Hill can replicate their play in Los Angeles, it will soon no longer be a weakness in Cleveland.