The Browns’ veteran tight end, who set personal bests in every receiving category and flirted with a handful of franchise records, will represent the Browns in the 2016 Pro Bowl. Barnidge was originally listed as an alternate but found out today he’d be replacing New England’s Rob Gronkowski, who is unable to participate because of an injury, in Sunday’s all-star event.
“I am very appreciative of this honor,” Barnidge said. “It is a privilege to be able to represent the Browns and our great fans at the Pro Bowl. One of the best things about this is that I get to share this experience with Joe and Alex.”
Barnidge came into his eighth NFL season with 44 receptions, 603 yards and three touchdowns. Given the opportunity to thrive as the No. 1 tight end for the first time in his professional career, Barnidge made the most of it, leading all Browns receivers with 79 receptions for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns. Barnidge tied Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome with the most touchdowns by a tight end in Browns franchise history and was second for most yards. Among NFL tight ends, he finished tied for second in third-down receptions (24), third in receiving average (13.2), third in 25-yard receptions (nine), third in receiving yards (1,043), fourth in receptions (79) and tied for fourth in touchdowns (nine).
Barnidge joins Newsome (three), Milt Morin (two), Kellen Winslow and Jordan Cameron as the only Browns tight ends selected to the Pro Bowl.
The 2016 Pro Bowl Draft is set for Wednesday, as NFL legends Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin will pick the teams that will square off at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.