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Cleveland Browns

Poteat signed

By Marla Ridenour Published: March 9, 2009

Browns coach Eric Mangini corrected one of last season's weaknesses Monday with the signing of veteran cornerback Hank Poteat from the New York Jets.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Browns' pursuit of Poteat had gone under the radar during the first 10 days of free agency. But Cleveland's cornerback corps needed experience with '08 starters Brandon McDonald and Eric Wright both in their second seasons.

Poteat, 31, has spent eight years in the league, the last four under Mangini with the Jets and New England Patriots. Poteat signed with the Patriots for the playoffs in January, 2004 and stayed there until he was waived in 2006.

A third-round draft choice of Pittsburgh in 2000, Poteat will be playing for his fifth NFL team. Poteat's career also included a stint with Tampa Bay in 2003.

''Hank is a veteran corner who has played inside and outside,'' Browns general manager George Kokinis said in a statement. ''His versatility and knowledge of the system will be an asset to our secondary.''

Poteat, 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, has played in 94 regular-season games with 18 starts, all but one of those in the past three years. He has four career interceptions, two each in '07 and '08. Last season he also totalled 41 tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, a sack and four passes defensed.


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