The Cleveland Browns will release Gary Barnidge on Friday, just one day after drafting Miami (FL) tight end David Njoku in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Barnidge went to social media to thank the organization
The eight year veteran spent the last four seasons with Cleveland, coming to the team as a free agent joining his Carolina offensive coordinator then new Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski.
A backup to Jordan Cameron his first two seasons, Barnidge had a breakout in 2015 when he became the full time starter.
With 79 catches for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns, all career highs. Barnidge was selected to the Pro Bowl for his productive season.
Before the end of the 2015 season, the Browns gave him a three year extension worth $12.3 million dollars.
Last season he had a decline in production with only 55 catches for 612 yards and two touchdowns, however still one of the top targets for the 1-15 Browns.
Financially this move saves the team around $2.2 million although they have plenty of cap space before the move was made.
Barnidge will be sought after as a free agent. Teams like to have two play making tight ends and I’m sure teams will be chopping at the bit for his services.
Going forward the Browns have not only Njoku but also Seth DeValve, the team’s fourth round pick last year who showed flashes of what he can bring to the offense.
They could also draft another tight end in this current draft as it’s a very deep class at that position.