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Browns Sign WR Saalim Hakim, Waive TE Chase Ford

The Browns have decided to take a chance on a speedy wideout with an interesting history.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

One of the four hopefuls signed to a tryout at veteran minicamp has made the cut.

The Cleveland Browns signed wideout Saalim Hakim today, waiving tight end Chase Ford to make room on the roster, the team announced.

Hakim becomes the eighth wide receiver on the active roster.

Saalim Hakim is the younger brother of former NFL player Az Hakim, a spectacularly fast returnman who played a big role on the St. Louis Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" squads.

The 5'11, 190 pound player has quite a history. The youngest Hakim did not actually play football in high school, instead opting to play soccer. Taking up football at Palomar Community College, Hakim caught 31 passes in two seasons. He then transferred to Tarleton State University in Texas in 2010, hauling in 18 receptions.

Hakim then signed with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League, playing under former NFL head coach Jim Fassel. The former Giants coach once said of the prospect:

"You don’t find guys like him walking around on the streets. He’s so strong — explosively strong. He’d jerk a guy, go around him, and once he got into a leverage position they couldn’t run with him. Once he gets going, he’s as fast as anyone I’ve ever seen on the football field."

Despite his inexperience, Hakim received plenty of attention from NFL scouts, due to his speed, as Hakim once ran a 4.31 40-yard dash. Reportedly, 18 teams fought to sign him as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Hakim landed with the Cowboys, leading Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News to write a column about the Atlanta, Georgia native in May 2012.

After the Cowboys cut him in September 2012, Hakim signed with the Rams in November 2012. The Saints stole him away in December, upgrading him to the active roster before releasing him in August 2013. Hakim then joined the Jets' practice squad in October 2013. The club promoted him to the active roster in December, playing Hakim in three contests. The former soccer player notched one special teams tackle and two rushes for -3 yards.

Hakim enjoyed his best season in 2014, playing all 16 games. He notched 17 kickoff returns for 279 yards, or 21.5 yards per return. He also added eight tackles.

The Jets then released the wideout in August 2015, leading the Lions to sign him to the practice squad in early September and release him a week later. The Chiefs took a chance on him in October, slotting him into the game twice in November before cutting him loose.

That's quite the journey.

Hakim certainly adds speed to the roster, but can he add enough skill at wideout to earn a roster spot?