Browns Sign Gary Barnidge To Extension

FRIDAY, 9:09am: Barnidge’s three-year deal is worth $12.3MM, with just over $5.5MM in guaranteed money, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports.

THURSDAY, 3:25pm: Barnidge’s new deal is a three-year contract, a source tells Pat McManamon of Ian Rapoport of adds (via Twitter) that it’s worth north of $12MM.

1:31pm: The Browns’ extension with Barnidge is now official. The tight end himself took to Twitter to announce the deal, posting a photo of himself putting pen to paper.Gary Barnidge

12:04pm: The Browns are moving toward locking up one of their top pass catchers to an extension, keeping him off the free agent market, reports Jason La Canfora of (via Twitter). According to La Canfora, a new deal for tight end Gary Barnidge and the Browns is “imminent.” Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link) confirms that the two sides are nearing a deal, adding that it could get done today.

Barnidge, 30, caught just 44 balls in 92 games with the Panthers and Browns between 2008 and 2014, after being selected in the fifth round of the 2008 draft by Carolina. However, he has blown away all his previous career highs this year, catching 60 balls for 817 yards and seven touchdowns in an increased role for the Browns.

Had he played out his contract, Barnidge would’ve been eligible for unrestricted free agency this offseason. Instead, it looks like he’ll continue to catch passes for the Browns in 2016 and beyond. Coming off a $1.2MM salary in 2015, the Louisville product will be in line for a significant raise on his new contract.

It’s not yet known what sort of deal the Browns and Barnidge are discussing, but I imagine the four-year, $18.5MM ($6.75MM) pact signed by Lance Kendricks earlier this year will be a point of reference. That deal put Kendricks just inside the league’s top 15 highest-paid tight ends, despite the fact that he had never caught more than 42 passes or four touchdowns in a season.

Based on his 2015 numbers, Barnidge probably deserves to be valued higher than that — perhaps even within the top 10, which would mean an annual salary of $7MM+. I imagine his age and his lack of a track record will limit Cleveland’s willingness to invest too heavily in him, but the Browns certainly have no shortage of future cap room, so it’ll be interesting to see how much the club is willing to commit to its breakout tight end.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 comments on “Browns Sign Gary Barnidge To Extension

  1. json-api

    Only player to stand out offensively on the Browns.

  2. Connor Byrne

    Good move by the Browns. Even if the worst happens and Barnidge’s season proves to be a total fluke, $4MM per year going forward isn’t enough to make the deal disastrous. He’s worth keeping around at that cost, especially for a team with so few offensive weapons.

    • TheMichigan

      I hope it isn’t a fluke and to me it doesn’t feel like one, they had a semi competent QB in McCown If they can get Manziel or there draft pick to be competent then Gary should be fine

  3. Redsoxandbroncosfan562

    If josh Gordon could stay off the weed. Barnidge and Gordon would make a nice combo.

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