6 Browns Fighting For Their Jobs After Free Agency

Added depth makes it tough for these 6 Cleveland Browns

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Cleveland Browns
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Cleveland Browns / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cleveland Browns once again had an active offseason. In each of the past three years, they’ve landed at least one new starter via trade. In 2022, it was Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper. In 2023, it was Elijah Moore and Za’Darius Smith. This year, it was Jerry Jeudy, who also landed a multi-year extension after landing in Cleveland.

In addition to the trades, General Manager Andrew Berry has been active in free agency. This year was no exception as they brought in Jordan Hicks, Nyheim Hines, and D’Onta Foreman — just to name a few.

After those moves were made, these six returning Browns are suddenly fighting for their respective jobs.

6. James Proche II, Punt Returner

Jakeem Grant was supposed to revitalize the return game for the Browns but he spent his only two seasons with the franchise on the IR. With him out, the job was split between two players with Donovan Peoples-Jones serving as the primary punt returner. A new returner was needed once he was traded at the deadline in 2023.

James Proche II answered the call and while he had some hiccups, he did enough to get a new deal in the offseason. However, he’s far from guaranteed a spot on the 53-man roster.

His primary competition will come from Nyheim Hines, who was a kick and punt returner for Bubba Ventrone when they were both with the Indianapolis Colts. Hines enters his decent season in the league with 1,015 yards and two touchdowns on punt returns — while averaging 11.4 per run back.

He hasn’t had a touchdown since his rookie campaign but is still an experienced returner who also contributes to the base offense. That’s more than Proche can claim right now, putting his spot in jeopardy.