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Browns place tender on 2 exclusive rights free agents

TE Stephen Carlson, DE Porter Gustin were key contributors throughout the 2020 season

The Browns on Friday placed a tender on exclusive rights free agents TE Stephen Carlson and DE Porter Gustin.

Exclusive rights free agents have the option of signing their tender or sitting out the season.

Carlson, who signed with the Browns in 2019 as an undrafted free agent, appeared in all 16 regular season games with two starts last season. He caught one pass for 11 yards while also serving as one of the team's leaders on special teams. Carlson was third on the team with nine special teams tackles and recovered the onside kick that helped seal the Browns' playoff-clinching victory over the Steelers in Week 17.

Gustin, who signed with the Browns midway through the 2019 season, appeared in 14 games with three starts this past season. Along with the 28 tackles he compiled during the regular season, Gustin recorded the first interception of his career in the Browns' Wild Card victory over the Steelers.