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Browns sign CB Thomas Graham Jr.

Cleveland lands cornerback who was working with Chicago’s first-team defense before being sidelined by an injury.

NFL: DEC 20 Vikings at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns signed cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. on Tuesday from the practice squad of the Chicago Bears.

In a corresponding transaction to open up a roster spot, the club waived cornerback Herb Miller. The team closed out the day by signing wide receiver Chester Rogers to the practice squad.

The 5-foot-11 and 197-pound Graham Jr. was selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He spent the majority of his rookie season on Chicago’s practice squad but did appear in four games, making one start, and finished the season with 13 tackles.

The initial disappointment of not making the roster as a rookie quickly turned to Graham Jr. talking with then-general manager Ryan Pace about what he needed to work on, according to an article from Bears Wire:

“What do I need to do to make sure I can live my dream and be here? It’s just a simple conversation — going up to him like, ‘What do you think I can work on now?’ At first it just started with on-the-field. And then it was, ‘All right, show your coaches that you know the defense. And I think they’ll be confident in you if you get your opportunity.’ …”

Graham Jr. looked to build on his rookie campaign this season and worked with Chicago’s first-team defense as a nickel back all through Organized Team Activities. But a hamstring injury knocked him out for all of training camp and the preseason, which led to the Bears releasing him and then subsequently signing him to the practice squad after no other team put in a waiver claim for him.

As for Rogers, the 5-foot-11 and 185-pound wide receiver was originally signed by the Indianapolis Colts in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of Grambling State.

He spent four seasons with the Colts (2016 to 2019) and appeared in 53 games, making 22 starts, and catching 111 passes for 1,221 yards and five touchdowns. He spent time in 2020 on the practice squad of the Tennessee Titans before playing in 16 games, making two starts, last season with the Titans, finishing with 30 receptions for 301 yards and a touchdown.

Rogers spent training camp this summer with the Houston Texans but was released on August 29.

Perhaps most notably, Rogers does have some experience in the return game as he has returned 90 punts and 19 kickoffs in his NFL career. Given how Demetric Felton struggled to field punts in Sunday’s season opener against the Carolina Panthers, the Browns could be interested in taking a look at how Rogers does as a returner in practice.

The Browns had activated Miller from the practice squad last week after placing cornerback Greedy Williams on the injured reserve list.

Miller appeared in nine games with the Browns last season, playing primarily on special teams. Originally signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019 as an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic, Miller has 10 career tackles and one career interception.