The Cleveland Browns will see a familiar face in the locker room again this season as backup offensive lineman Blake Hance has signed his exclusive rights free agent tender.
The Browns placed the exclusive rights free agent label on Hance in early March, which meant that Hance would not be able to negotiate with another team in free agency. Hance has one credited season under league rules, so the contract is a one-year deal worth a non-guaranteed $825,000 for the upcoming season.
Hance appeared in all 17 games for the Browns last season, making eight starts and playing 644 offensive snaps as the team dealt with injuries to starting offensive tackles Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. While he gave it his best, Hance struggled when forced into action as he gave up a team-high 31 pressures and finished the year with grades of 70.1 as a run blocker and a team-low 36.9 in pass protection, according to Pro Football Focus.
Still, the experience that Hance received last season should hopefully prove beneficial if the Browns need to call on him again in 2022.
Hance originally joined the Browns in Week 17 of the 2020 season as the club was dealing with injuries and COVID-related issues on the offensive line.
Browns fans quickly learned who Hance was in the playoffs, however, as he was pressed into action during the Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. When left guard Michael Dunn - who was filling in for starter Joel Bitonio - had to leave the game with an injury, Hance slid into the position and held his own through the final 14 offensive plays by the Browns as they took down the Steelers.