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When the Cleveland Browns signed cornerback Troy Hill as a free agent, the general consensus was Hill would instantly slide into the slot CB role. It’s the primary position Hill played for the Los Angeles Rams over the past few seasons before he joined the Browns last week.
But Browns GM Andrew Berry trumpeted Hill’s versatility in introducing the new corner to the media.
“Troy is a versatile corner that has played inside and outside,’’ Berry said. “He’s a smart football player who can play man coverage, zone coverage, turn the ball over and is a sound tackler. We all viewed him as a really big part of the defensive success in Los Angeles this past year, and for us, the ability to have a corner that can play at a high level on both the outside and inside gives us a lot of flexibility with who we currently have on the roster and who we may add moving forward.”
Hill does have some experience playing outside but did his best work in the slot for the Rams. It’s that work that led Berry and the Browns to pay him $9 million over two years to ostensibly replace Kevin Johnson on the defense. Johnson was also a primary slot CB but with some outside experience, though Johnson did not fare so well when kicked outside in his one season in Cleveland.
The ability to slide outside is important given the durability concerns with both outside CBs, Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams. It opens the possibility for the Browns to add another primary slot corner as well, be it in free agency or in the upcoming draft.