The Cleveland Browns announced that they signed Gaines to a new deal on Friday. It’s the latest in a series of moves by the team aimed at improving the secondary. Cleveland acquired Damarious Randall in a trade that sent quarterback DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers and also signed T.J. Carrie and Terrance Mitchell.
Browns announced they signed former Bills CB E.J. Gaines.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2018
Cleveland Browns Sign Cornerback E.J. Gaines
The 26-year-old came to the Bills in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams that also saw the team net a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft in exchange for wide receiver Sammy Watkins. In 11 starts, he registered 59 tackles, nine passes defended, and a single interception. He also forced three fumbles which were tied with Lorenzo Alexander for the team lead.
Gaines appeared to be the odd man out when Buffalo announced they were signing Vontae Davis from the Indianapolis Colts. The combination of that move along with Gaines’ free agency status was pretty much the writing on the wall regarding where he’d be playing in 2018. Today’s news confirmed that notion.
Prior to his time with the Bills, Gaines spent the first three seasons of his pro career with the Rams. He missed the entirety of his second year with the team due to a Lisfranc injury suffered during the preseason. But as a rookie in 2014, he made a fairly immediate impact, leading all corners with 63 solo tackles and 15 pass breakups. He also intercepted two passes en route to making the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
The Rams selected Gaines in the sixth round (188th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. He excelled collegiately at Missouri, especially during his senior year with the Tigers. His five interceptions were tied for second best in the SEC and only 17 players in the nation exceeded that total in 2013. It led to him earning first-team all-conference honors. He earned a similar accolade as a sophomore two years earlier when he finished second nationally with 16 pass breakups.