Cleveland Browns wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge has signed his restricted tender, which is worth $2.133 million as first reported by Brad Stainbrook of the Orange and Brown Report. Hodge was the last of the restricted free agents the Browns had tendered to sign his deal over a month after defensive end Porter Gustin and tight end Stephen Carlson.
Hodge ended up playing a significantly larger role than maybe was expected in 2020, operating as the team's third receiver at least initially. Offering more size and especially speed than other options, Hodge allowed the Browns to stretch the field and improved the overall spacing on offense. He's also a productive blocker.
Hodge caught 11 passes on 17 targets for 180 yards in 2020. 11 of those receptions were for first downs and he had a 42 yard reception. Despite what is not a massive amount of production, it felt like Hodge was doing more when he was in the lineup. Part of that was because many of the receptions he had were pretty important.
The issue for Hodge was that he only played in nine games last season due to a pair of injuries to his hamstring. It caused him to miss a significant amount of time throughout the season and for as little as he seemed to do in terms of raw statistics, it was noticeable when he wasn't there.
Particularly after Odell Beckham suffered the torn ACL that ended his season, Hodge's ability to create space was pretty valuable, which helps to explain why the Browns added arguably the fastest player in the entire 2021 draft class in Anthony Schwartz.
Hodge could continue to develop at receiver for the Browns, but with the talent they have, he may not see the field as much at receiver. However, he could return to a larger role on special teams, which was the reason he was acquired by former general manager John Dorsey in the first place. Hodge's role on special teams was reduced last year because the Browns offense needed him.
Still, even if Hodge ends up being wide receiver five or six on the Browns, that's a fantastic depth option for them.