The man Baker Mayfield called “A guy named Blake” that became a cult playoff hero will be back with the Browns for the 2021 season.
As first reported by The Athletic, the Cleveland Browns re-signed offensive lineman Blake Hance to a two-year deal worth the league minimum and Hance would then become an exclusive rights free agent in 2023 so it could essentially be a three-year deal.
Hance’s story became one of the feel good stories in the NFL when he was called into action during the Browns’ wild card round victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in early January. Cleveland signed him on January 2 off the Jets’ practice squad and because of injuries and COVID tests sidelining Joel Bitonio and Michael Dunn, Hance played 14 snaps at left guard during the fourth quarter.
Despite a 52.0 grade by Pro Football Focus although he was above average in pass blocking with a 79.2, Hance allowed zero pressures or hits against Pittsburgh.
He was then called into action again when Jedrick Wills and Kendall Lamm went down with injuries against Kansas City in the Divisional Round playing 33 snaps at left tackle. Pro Football Focus graded him with a 49.7 although he graded a 69.6 in run blocking and once again allowing zero pressures or hits.
With the signing of Hance, the Browns depth on the offensive line looks really good heading into 2021.
Of course things could certainly change between now and July when training camp opens but one would think the offensive line appears to be set although you can’t rule out them potentially drafting someone late as they could look for a long-term project at right tackle and/or left guard to replace Jack Conklin and Joel Bitonio down the road.