Day 3 of the NFL Draft has arrived and the Cleveland Browns continue to make moves, the most recent involving one of the team’s veteran cornerbacks.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported April 30 that the Browns had struck a deal to send defensive back Troy Hill to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2023.
“Reunion: The #Rams are trading for an old friend, as they are set to acquire #Browns CB Troy Hill, source said,” Rapoport wrote on Twitter Saturday morning.
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Browns Send Hill Back to Old Team After One Season in Cleveland
Hill returns to the Rams after playing one season in Cleveland, where he signed a two-year deal worth $9 million last offseason, per Spotrac. The defensive back played five years in Los Angeles following a one-year stint with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2015.
Hill produced his banner year in 2020, which drew the Browns to the defender in the first place. The cornerback scored three defensive touchdowns for the Rams that season, including two via interceptions that were returned for a total of 119 yards. Both of those statistics led the NFL.
His one-year stint with the Browns was less impactful. Hill appeared in 12 of 17 regular season games for Cleveland, earning starts in four of those contests. He amassed 49 tackles, including seven tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, two sacks and one pass defensed.
Browns Draft CB in Third Round, Freeing Up Hill Trade
Cleveland’s decision to deal Hill back to his former team was likely connected to the fact that the Browns used their first pick in this year’s draft to select a cornerback out of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
The Browns selected Martin Emerson of Mississippi State with the No. 68 pick in the third round. Emerson stands 6-feet, 2-inches tall and weighs 201 pounds, per ESPN. The cornerback started three seasons with the Bulldogs. Over the course of his collegiate career, the 21-year-old Emerson amassed 152 tackles, including six tackles for loss, defensed 15 passes, made one interception and forced one fumble, per Sports Reference.
Emerson spoke about being selected by the Browns, his comments published on the team’s official website.
“It is exciting just going in with guys who have been in my position,” Emerson said. “Great players and just going in and learning from them, it is going to be great. Just coming in, I am going to compete and give it all I have. Bring a little size. Bring some physicality. I am just going to bring everything I have. Excited just to be a part of the team and be a part of the defensive back group.”
Emerson will join a a high-end collection of cornerbacks that includes Denzel Ward, who recently made history as the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history, as well as Greg Newsome.