- Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer
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The headlines will say that Ray Farmer isn’t afraid to take a chance on a player.
The Browns' general manager prompted that reaction by signing cornerback Aaron Berry, who missed all of 2013 with a torn knee ligament and who was released by the Lions after two arrests in two months in the summer of 2012, one of them gun related.
In truth, Berry might be a long shot to even make the team.
After his release by the Lions, Berry played just seven games for the Jets as a backup and on special teams in ’12, and he missed all of ’13. It appears he would be slated for special teams with the Browns, which Farmer even mentioned in a statement released by the team.
“Aaron Berry gives us both depth and competition at corner, and has the potential to upgrade our kicking game,” Farmer said.
Berry’s strength is man-to-man coverage, a necessity in Mike Pettine’s defense. He joins a group that already includes Joe Haden, first-round draft pick Justin Gilbert, Buster Skrine and Isaiah Trufant.
To his credit, Farmer was candid in assessing Berry's past issues, and about the fact that Berry would have the chance to earn a spot.
“We recognize that he's had missteps, as does he,” Farmer said. “Before and after that adverse period in his life, members of our coaching staff and players in our locker room worked with Aaron. From a communication standpoint, there's a degree of comfort we have with him, and a degree of comfort he'll have with the Browns. He has a chance to earn the opportunity to contribute to any success we'll have this fall.”