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2018 free agency: Could the Browns benefit from adding a veteran TE?

Posted Mar 9, 2018

Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert headline group of free agents

While tight ends David Njoku and Seth DeValve showed promise last season -- the pair of young players were among Cleveland's leading receivers in 2017 --  the Browns could benefit from adding a veteran presence at one of the NFL's most brutal positions. 

And when free agency opens next Wednesday, they'll have a talented, albeit relatively limited, group to choose from if they go that route. 

Who’s back?

Seth DeValve: 16 games, 4 starts; 33 catches, 395 yards, 1 TD

David Njoku: 16 games, 5 starts; 32 catches, 386 yards, 4 TDs

Randall Telfer: 16 games, 14 starts; 3 catches, 36 yards

Matt Lengel

Gavin Escobar

Devon Cajuste

Top TEs available (Rankings from NFL.com’s Top 101 free agents)

20. Jimmy Graham, Seahawks

The five-time Pro Bowler caught 10 touchdowns last season and was Seattle’s go-to weapon in the red zone.

32. Trey Burton, Eagles

Burton, who played behind starting tight end Zach Ertz, is coming off his best season as a pro, catching five touchdowns during Philadelphia’s Super Bowl run.

34. Tyler Eifert, Bengals

While Eifert missed all of last season with a back injury, he’s shown he’s one of the league's best tight ends when healthy.

54. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets

After a struggle with alcoholism, ASJ had his best season as a pro, catching 50 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns in New York.

74. Martellus Bennett, Patriots

Bennett helped the Patriots win a Super Bowl two seasons ago but wasn’t the same player in Green Bay last year. Following a dispute over an injury, he returned to New England when the Packers released him midseason.

What about the draft?

The Browns have added a tight end in each of their past three drafts: Njoku with the 29th overall last year, DeValve in the fourth round in 2016, and Telfer in the sixth round in 2015. It’s unlikely Cleveland would spend another first-round pick on the position, but talented players such as Penn State’s Mike Gesicki, South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst, Indiana’s Ian Thomas and even Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews could be available Days 2 and 3.

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