Free agency doesn’t officially begin until 4 P.M. this afternoon, but the Browns took advantage of the legal tampering period by signing kick return extraordinaire Jakeem Grant.
There is news from the Cleveland Browns! Unfortunately, it is not the resolution of the quarterback situation involving Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield, or anyone else for that matter. Instead, the Browns have agreed to terms with kick return specialist, Jakeem Grant, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The deal is for three years, worth up to $13.8 million, which is a pretty good deal for a Pro Bowl player like Grant. The Browns have struggled in the return game so the addition of Grant is an instant upgrade over the likes of Demetric Felton, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Anthony Schwartz.
Grant is listed as a wide receiver, but he hasn’t had as big of an impact lining up on offense as he has on special teams. In his six-year NFL career, Grant has racked up four punt return touchdowns and two kickoff returns for scores.
On punt returns, he averages 10.3 yards-per-return and on kick returns, he averages 24.5. In 2021, Grant made the Pro Bowl, despite being traded in Week 5 from Miami to Chicago.
In the receiving game, he isn’t going to be an upgrade over the departures of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., but he is going to add some much-needed depth to the room. For his career, Grant has caught 100 passes for 1,140 yards and seven touchdowns. Don’t expect him to come in and rack up a bunch of yards or touchdowns, but expect him to fill in when needed.
When you think of return specialists in Cleveland, I’m sure you have fond memories of the days of Josh Cribbs. Now, Grant won’t be Cribbs, but he will be an improvement to an area where the Browns needed improvement. The 29-year old should see success on the shores of Lake Erie this fall and if that is the case, he will instantly be loved by the fans.
While this isn’t the big free agency or trade news we had all hoped for overnight, it is some news that we should all get behind, especially on that deal.
Welcome to Cleveland, Jakeem Grant!