New Cleveland Browns safety Juan Thornhill is doing his part to help lure his former Kansas City Chiefs teammate Mecole Hardman to the Dawg Pound.
And Hardman appears interested.
Thornhill took to Twitter with his recruiting effort, tweeting at Hardman shortly after inking his deal with the Browns.
“Remember we came in together in 2019,” Thornhill wrote, tagging Hardman. “Come on over #DawgPound.”
Hardman tweeted back the eyeballs emoji, a cryptic sign that perhaps something is in the works.
Hardman would be a solid fit for the Browns, who are in need of a speedy option in their wide receiver corps. Hardman ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine and won a race against some of the NFL’s speediest players in 2021, clocking a 4.22 40-yard dash.
And he comes with some significant experience, playing in the Chiefs’ explosive offense alongside the likes of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
Hardman has 151 catches for 2,088 yards and 16 touchdowns over his career. He dealt with injuries last season and had surgery in February to deal with a groin injury. Hardman should be ready for the start of next season.
Thornhill Lays Out Super Bowl Expectations for Browns
Thornhill agreed to a three-year deal with the Browns worth $21 million, with $14 million fully guaranteed. He will be the starting free safety for Cleveland, taking over for John Johnson III, who was released earlier this offseason. He previously spent four seasons with the Chiefs, winning a pair of Super Bowls.
Thornhill brings with him Super Bowl-level expectations, which he shares with Browns stars Myles Garrett and Deshaun Watson.
“Those guys actually reached out to me,” Thornhill told cleveland.com. “They welcomed me and were talking about how excited they are for me to be on the team and hoping that we can bring that third Super Bowl ring to my finger.”
The Browns are no strangers to expectations. They’ve assembled talented rosters in the past that have resulted in hype, although they only have one playoff appearance since 2002 to show for it. That being said, Thornhill is bringing his championship-or-bust mentality to Cleveland.
“I don’t plan on doing anything different,” he said. “Just get there and bring this to Cleveland. That’s pretty much it. The goal is still the same, just on a different team.”
Thornhill Among Key Pieces Added by Browns in Free Agency
The Browns have reshaped their defense, feeling the urgency to turn the unit around after a wildly disappointing and inconsistent season. It started just days after the season ended, with the Browns parting ways with defensive coordinator Joe Woods and bringing in an aggressive, veteran coordinator in Jim Schwartz.
The Browns made some other signings to improve the unit early in free agency, bringing in pass-rusher Ogbo Okoronkwo and big defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson.
Tomlinson is by far the most important signing thus far and will be looked at to help shore up the Browns’ leaky run defense. It’s a task he’s game to take on.
“As a defensive lineman, I feel like going into each season there is always a lot of pressure to stop the run because if you can’t stop the run, you will never get to pass rush,” Tomlinson told reporters during his introductory press conference on Thursday. “Just want to come in and help everybody across the whole front so we can be one unit up front to stop the run as much as possible.”