Jeremy Hill – Free Agent Preview
Jeremy Hill entered the 2017 season knowing there was going to be an increased time-share with rookie, Joe Mixon. Hill has been a valuable piece for the Cincinnati Bengals for the past four season. While Hill has been the lead-back for those four years, he split that time with Giovani Bernard, their change-of-pace back.
Hill came into this season averaging 222.3 carries/919 yards/9.6 TDs. While the averages looked good on paper, Hill’s production had decreased from his rookie season. In his rookie year, Hill ran for 1,124 yards and nine TDs. With Hill’s effectiveness trending in the wrong direction and the team ultimately failing to win any playoff games, they opted to draft Mixon. This in the hopes to bolster and upgrade the offensive performance.
The 2018 season for Hill did not start the way he would have wished. In a preseason game against the Washington Redskins, he suffered an ankle injury. This prevented him from returning and ultimately missing the final week of the preseason. After returning for the season opener, Hill only made it seven games this season. To the surprise of the team and his coach, he pulled the plug on his season, opting for season-ending surgery.
The Browns, when used, had a strong run game this season. The game flow and play calling at times did not allow the team to run as often as we would have liked. If the Browns were to sign Hill, I think it would be a good fit. With Isaiah Crowell set to leave for a new home, this opens a spot in the backfield that will be needed to be filled.
Duke Johnson has been vocal about enjoying his role as more than just a running back. If Hill were signed and brought in the locker room, that would allow Johnson to continue to play the pass-catching running back role. Hill has proven to be a powerful back who will run between the tackles and pick up the short yardage. Additionally, Hill has the familiarity with Hue Jackson’s offense and play calling which would allow for an easier transition.