Cleveland Browns extend DE John Hughes

Hughes was a 3rd round pick by the Browns in 2012. Hughes struggled as a rookie in a 4-3, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 69th ranked defensive tackle out of 85 eligible on 530 snaps, but he’s done better over the past two seasons as a 3-4 defensive end. In 2013, he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 9th ranked 3-4 defensive end on just 402 snaps, in a smaller, rotational role. That earned him a starting job going into 2014, but he was limited to just 5 games by injury, though he played well when on the field.

Hughes doesn’t have a huge injury history though and could absolutely bounce back in 2015 as a starter on the 3-man defensive line with Phil Taylor and Desmond Bryant. There’s a chance he could finally have the breakout year that the Browns were expecting from him last season and that would have caused him to command a lot of fair amount of money on the open market. Given that, this 4-year, 14.4 million dollar extension makes a lot of sense. It’s a smart, forward thinking move by the Browns that could absolutely pay off and, worst case scenario, he’s only guaranteed 3.56 million.

Grade: A




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