A Cleveland homecoming could be in the works for Ted Ginn Jr.
A Cleveland native, Ginn graduated from local Glenville High School and later attended Ohio State University.
An eight-year NFL veteran, Ginn was drafted by the Dolphins in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. The speedy 5'11, 178 pound receiver and returner spent three seasons in Miami before he joined the 49ers. Following a three-year stint in San Francisco, Ginn played for the Panthers in 2013 and Cardinals in 2014.
Arizona cut Ginn on Monday to free up $2.5 million of cap space. Ginn struggled as a Cardinal last season, hauling in just 14 passes for 190 yards and recording 277 punt return yards, his lowest total since 2009. He did return one punt for a touchdown in 2014, a 71-yard burst against the Giants in Week 2. Ginn had two seasons remaining on his contract when the Cards cut him.
Over the course of his eight-year career, Ginn has recorded 2,794 yards and 11 touchdowns as a wideout. As a return man, Ginn has compiled a mark of 11.1 yards per punt return, 22.9 yards per kick return, and seven total touchdowns.
The Browns could certainly use an upgrade at punt returner. A number of players attempted to fill the role last season, but none enjoyed sustained success. The Browns averaged 6.9 yards per punt return in 2014, ranking 28th in the NFL.
Fellow Cleveland native and Glenville grad Donte Whitner has publicly embraced the idea of signing Ginn. Whitner told Cabot:
"I think it would be a natural fit and I think it would give our fan base another big boost from a hometown guy like Teddy ... And I think it would give him a boost also, playing in front of his friends, and family and fans that grew up watching him so I think that it would be a big career boost for him also. I'm hopeful that it happens."
Whitner also told Cabot that he has texted head coach Mike Pettine about Ginn. According to Whitner, Pettine said "it's definitely a consideration."
Signing Ginn could be a smart move for the Browns. Ginn would give the team a dependable return man and a serviceable fifth wide receiver. The team has plenty of cap space to sign him.
As Whitner said, Ginn and the Browns could be a "natural fit."