The Cleveland Browns have agreed to to terms with free agent cornerback Rod Hood, one of the most sought-after players remaining in the diluted unrestricted pool.
The deal, for one year, was first reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and was confirmed for ESPN.com on Tuesday morning by a source close to Hood. Financial details of the contract were not yet available. Without a contract extension, Hood will be eligible for free agency again next spring.
Hood, 27, was a starter for the Arizona Cardinals the past two seasons, but was released in late April. The Cardinals signed free agent Bryant McFadden from Pittsburgh this spring, and he is expected to start at Hood's former spot. Hood was scheduled to earn a base salary of $3 million in 2009, the third season of a five-year, $15 million contract that he signed as a free agent in 2007.
The six-year veteran was also sought by Cincinnati, Detroit and St. Louis in recent weeks. It was believed Hood strongly considered joining the Rams, where he would have been reunited with St. Louis first-year coach Steve Spagnuolo, who was an assistant for several years in Philadelphia when Hood played for the Eagles. He recently visited with Browns officials and coaches, and Hood liked the environment in Cleveland.
A one-time standout nickel defender, Hood is a physical cornerback who has developed into a starting-caliber player.
Hood started 30 of the 31 games he played for the Cardinals the past two seasons. He spent the first four years of his career with the Eagles (2003-2006) as a No. 3 cornerback, before signing with Arizona as a free agent in 2007.
The former Auburn star entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He has played in 87 games, with 43 starts. He had never started more than six games in a season before joining the Cardinals, but quickly moved into the lineup. In his first year with the franchise, Hood was one of six undrafted free agents to earn a spot on the Philadelphia roster in 2003.
For his career, Hood has 218 tackles, one sack, 11 interceptions, 58 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and five recoveries. In 2007, with Arizona, he had six interceptions and 21 passes defensed, both career highs.
Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.