The Cleveland Browns signed cornerback Aaron Berry on Monday, presumably to a one-year deal.
This isn't the first time the Browns showed an interest in Berry. Back when free agency was in full swing and Darrelle Revis and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were hot names going off of the market, Berry reportedly visited the Browns on March 17, 2014.
There is a slight connection between Berry and head coach Mike Pettine. Pettine was the Jets' defensive coordinator in 2012, a season in which Berry played 7 games but only registered 2 tackles. Berry missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL. Since entering the league in 2010 as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Lions, Berry has received more publicity for his off-the-field issues than his on-field work.
This is not a blockbuster deal by any stretch, and he'll likely be receiving the minimum salary with a chance to prove his worth in camp. That will be difficult to do, considering CB Joe Haden, CB Justin Gilbert, CB Buster Skrine, and CB Pierre Desir are at the top of the depth chart (and that does not even factor in former third-round CB Leon McFadden). To make room for Berry on the roster, the team said goodbye to CB Julian Posey.
In signing Berry, Browns general manager Ray Farmer released the following statement, acknowleding the contributions he could make on special teams:
"Aaron Berry gives us both depth and competition at corner, and has the potential to upgrade our kicking game," Farmer said. "He's tough and relentless and his strength prior to his injury was man coverage. He's also accountable for his past, which is well-documented.
"We recognize that he's had missteps, as does he. Before and after that adverse period in his life, members of our coaching staff and players in our locker room worked with Aaron. From a communication standpoint, there's a degree of comfort we have with him, and a degree of comfort he'll have with the Browns. He has a chance to earn the opportunity to contribute to any success we'll have this fall."