The Cleveland Browns today announced they have agreed to terms on a three-year contract with tight end Gary Barnidge as an unrestricted free agent from Carolina.
“I know Gary very well from my time in Carolina, and feel that he will be a good addition to our tight end group,” said Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski. “He has worked hard to develop as both a blocker and a receiver. His familiarity with our offense will give him the opportunity to make a smooth transition with us. In Carolina, he also stood out on our special teams unit, and should be an integral part of that phase here with the Browns.”
Originally drafted by the Panthers in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft, Barnidge has appeared in 62 career regular season games with 11 starts. He has totaled 18 receptions for 320 yards with one touchdown. In 2012, he appeared in all 16 contests and registered six receptions for 78 yards with one touchdown. He contributed to an offense that produced 5,771 total net yards and 328 first downs, as both were the second-highest totals in team history. Barnidge missed the entire 2011 campaign with a broken ankle after leading Carolina with a career-high 17 special teams tackles in 2010. In 2009, he totaled 12 receptions for 242 yards and 13 special teams tackles. Barnidge has registered 39 career special teams tackles and one special teams fumble recovery.
Barnidge appeared in 47 games with 29 starts at the University of Louisville (2004-07), where he amassed 98 receptions for 1,491 yards with 17 touchdowns. As a senior, he was a first team All-Big East Conference honoree and a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, given annually to college football’s top tight end. Born on September 22, 1985, the 6-5, 250-pound Barnidge attended Middleburg High School in Middleburg, Florida.