Fan-Favorite Browns Defender Takes Discount to Stay in Cleveland

Veteran defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is returning to Cleveland for another season.

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski fist-bumps players coming off the field in the second
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski fist-bumps players coming off the field in the second / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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The Cleveland Browns haven’t made any significant splashes in free agency, but they’ve made it a point of emphasis to re-sign guys who were a part of last year’s squad. 

Heading into free agency, there was a belief the Browns might not be able to re-sign numerous players on the defensive side because of their cap situation. However, it appears that Cleveland was able to bring that one member from last season.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday that veteran defensive tackle Maurice Hurst has signed a one-year, $3.2 million deal to return to Cleveland. 

The 28-year-old Hurst didn’t make a huge impact this past season with the Browns, but he gave them some depth on the defensive line. The former University of Michigan defensive tackle had 22 combined tackles, five quarterback hits, four tackles for loss, three pass deflections, and an interception.

Hurst played 39% of defensive snaps in 2023, which is around the same number of snaps he’s played over his career. Along with Hurst, the Cleveland Browns also re-signed Za’Darius Smith to a two-year, $23.5 million, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The Browns realized that they had one of the best defenses in the league last season, and they should bring everybody back and hopefully have a monster 2024 season.

Despite re-signing a key piece, however, the Browns are still heavy +550 underdogs to win the competitive AFC North.

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