Cleveland Browns Make Big Special Teams Move After Rule Change

Cleveland Browns
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Draft looming on the horizon, teams are actively bolstering their rosters with key additions. The Cleveland Browns, in particular, have been proactive in enhancing their special teams unit by securing a valuable asset.

According to reports from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Browns have inked a deal with former New York Jets standout Justin Hardee, a seasoned specialist renowned for his prowess in special teams play.

Hardee has consistently demonstrated his knack for making impactful plays since entering the league, primarily excelling as a gunner on punt coverage. His ability to swiftly navigate the field and execute crucial tackles has often resulted in favorable field position for his team.

For Hardee, this move represents a homecoming of sorts, as he hails from Cleveland itself. With 78 total tackles amassed over his seven-year career, his arrival is poised to provide a significant boost to the Browns’ special teams arsenal.

The signing also bodes well for punter Corey Bojorquez, who is set to benefit from Hardee’s presence on the field. Bojorquez’s impressive statistics in 2023 underscore the importance of quality special teams support, with his rankings among the league leaders in punts, punt average, and punts inside the 20 showcasing his effectiveness.

General manager Andrew Berry’s decision to bring Hardee on board is widely regarded as a shrewd move. With the Browns already boasting a formidable defense, the addition of a dynamic special teams playmaker like Hardee underscores their commitment to securing every advantage on the field.

As the Cleveland Browns gear up for the upcoming season, the acquisition of Hardee further solidifies their position as contenders in the AFC North. With a talented roster and strategic additions in key areas, they are poised to make a compelling push for divisional supremacy.

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