The Cleveland Browns signed veteran defensive tackle Damion Square on Tuesday.
The transaction brings Cleveland’s roster to the league-mandated maximum of 90 players.
Originally an undrafted free agent out of Alabama, Square played the past seven seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. He played in 81 games with the Chargers, making 24 starts, and posting 116 combined tackles and 6.5 sacks.
Square has also not missed a game the past four seasons.
Prior to joining the Chargers in 2015 while the franchise was still in San Diego, Square played in 10 games as a rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. He spent part of the 2014 season with both the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, never appearing in a game, before being claimed off waivers by the Chargers in November of that season.
Square joins what is suddenly a crowded defensive tackle room with the Browns. He joins Tommy Togiai, a fourth-round selection in last weekend’s NFL Draft; Andrew Billings, who is expected to return after opting out in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns; Malik Jackson, who was signed in free agency; Sheldon Day, who appeared in four games last season with the Indianapolis Colts; Malik McDowell, who was signed as a free agent on Monday but who has yet to appear in an NFL game; Marvin Wilson, who was signed as an undrafted free agent on Monday; and Jordan Elliott, a third-round selection by the Browns in the 2020 NFL Draft.
While the Browns have reportedly been open to bringing back defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson after releasing him on April 16, the signing of Square, Wilson and McDowell, along with drafting Togiai, might signal that the team has moved on from that idea.
However, general manager Andrew Berry appeared on ESPN Cleveland’s The Next Level radio show on Tuesday and said that the door is not necessarily closed on a return by Richardson (quote via cleveland.com):
“Sheldon was a big part of our success last year. We love his presence in our locker room. Those decisions are always difficult. But we’re certainly incredibly open to a return, realize that it’s something that has to match on both sides. And so we’re certainly respectful of that and understand it, but would welcome Sheldon back with open arms for sure.”
There has not been much news about Richardson drawing interest from other teams, so it could turn out that his tenure in Cleveland may have not come to an end after all.