The Browns signed tight end Gary Barnidge to a contract extension today, and while the salary numbers on the deal aren’t yet known, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that he believes Barnidge’s camp was targeting $4MM per year.
That would be a team-friendly price for a player who ranks among the NFL’s best tight ends in terms of catches, yards, and touchdowns this season. As I noted in our story on Barnidge’s extension, Lance Kendricks signed a four-year deal worth $4.625MM annually with the Rams in March, and he has never had a season nearly as productive as Barnidge’s 2015. On the other hand, the Browns tight end is 30 years old, and had only caught 44 balls in 92 career games coming into the season.
As we wait on the figures for Barnidge’s new contract, let’s round up a few more news items and notes from out of Cleveland….
- Another Browns pass catcher, wide receiver Travis Benjamin, indicated earlier in the season that he’d like to remain in Cleveland beyond this year, and the team has since engaged him in extension discussions. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com and Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter links), Benjamin said today that he thinks he’s about 75% or 80% of the way to reaching a new deal with the Browns.
- Discussing his extension, Barnidge explained today that he decided not to test the open market because he wanted to repay the Browns for giving him a shot (Twitter link via Cabot). “I want to be part of the turnaround,” Barnidge said.
- According to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has conducted at least one meeting to discuss “how to pick up the broken shards left from the 2015 season.” Team president Alec Scheiner and general manager Ray Farmer were present at that meeting, says Grossi, within a piece examining Farmer’s track record as Browns GM.
- Browns senior offensive assistant Kurt Roper will finish the season with the team, but he’s on track to become South Carolina’s new offensive coordinator, Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine confirmed today (Twitter link via Ulrich).
- With the 49ers on the schedule for Cleveland this week, ex-Niners punter Andy Lee reflected on his time in San Francisco, praising the franchise for how it handled his traded to the Browns. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com has the story, along with Lee’s quotes.