Slot cornerback Troy Hill is going back to Los Angeles.
The Cleveland Browns announced the trade involving Hill in the middle of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Hill goes back to the Super Bowl Champion Rams hoping they repeat their magic from 2021.
Andrew Berry originally signed Hill and safety John Johnson as part of the 2021 defensive makeover.
We have traded CB Troy Hill to the Rams for a 2023 fifth round pick pic.twitter.com/9hnclDARmZ
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 30, 2022
The versatile corner played in 12 games for the Browns, including 4 starts.
He racked up 7 tackles for a loss and 3 quarterback hits among 49 tackles.
His sole pass deflection and no interceptions were a little disappointing.
As was his PFF ranking as the 79th best corner out of 119 graded.
Why Make This Trade?
Cleveland drafted cornerback Martin Emerson into what is a strong defensive backs room Friday night.
Hill and Greedy Williams are playing out the final years of their current contracts.
And Denzel Ward and Gregory Newsome appear locked into the outside starting roles for a while.
Hill seemed content to play his slot role but wasn’t needed to back up the outside corners anymore.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) March 19, 2021
And with some of the best coverage safeties and linebackers on the roster, maybe he wasn’t needed in the slot, either.
Berry secured a 5th-round pick in the 2023 draft for a player getting paid only $1.5 million this season.
But there are also some salary cap implications for next season regarding Hill.
He had dead money hits coming up that will accelerate into 2022, freeing up some room next year.
Is Emerson The New Slot Corner?
It seems unlikely Andrew Berry would count on Emerson as his starting slot corner as a rookie.
But on the other hand, Emerson possesses the tools to be a really good option.
Size, speed, football instincts, and vision serve him well against the pass and the run.
Greedy Williams also took some snaps in the slot last year.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) April 30, 2022
And with versatility being the buzzword of Berea, we can’t rule out Grant Delpit or a linebacker covering either.
What is evident is that Berry is filling his roster with more draft picks at the expense of free agents.
Berry also drafted a pair of solid players to compete for roles in the frontline rotation.
Defensive end Alex Wright and tackle Perrion Winfrey could see the field as much as Emerson.