The Cleveland Browns have reportedly agreed to re-sign offensive lineman Blake Hance per Greg Auman of The Athletic. The deal is for two years and gives the Browns yet another body along the offensive line.
Hance was signed by the Browns from the New York Jets practice squad and famously drove from New Jersey to Pittsburgh to suit up for the Browns before their playoff game against the Steelers. He introduced himself to his teammates for the first time in the locker room and due to an injury had to step in and play left guard near the end of the game.
The following week, Hance had to step in after a pair of injuries to Jedrick Wills and Kendall Lamm at left tackle against the Kansas City Chiefs where he kept Frank Clark from getting to Baker Mayfield.
Hance is a guard by trade and operated at left tackle as if he was playing guard, working inside out to pass protect as much as he could.
Hance joins what is a loaded offensive line room, even when it comes to depth as a direct result of the pandemic. Three guards opted out of the 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19 including Drew Forbes, Colby Gossett and Malcolm Pridgeon. They had to find guys who could step in for that season and came up with Michael Dunn, who played well in his first NFL game against the Steelers in the playoffs. He suffered a calf injury that forced Hance into action, but he gave 2nd Team All-Pro Cameron Heyward all he could handle up until that point.
The Browns have released Pridgeon, but they still have Forbes and Gossett, plus Dunn and Hance. That's not including Chris Hubbard, who is still under contract, recovering from a dislocated kneecap and Nick Harris, the backup center.
It could make for a tremendous roster battle for their backup guard spots and could lead to the Browns making a trade at some point, getting an asset for one of their young linemen when teams are desperate for help.
For now, Hance made the most of his opportunity in the playoffs and goes from the practice squad to playoff hero to a more lucrative opportunity.