1:05pm: The Browns formally announced the move via press release.
Hartline suffered a broken collarbone during a December win over the 49ers and immediately underwent surgery to correct the issue. The local product, who played his college ball at Ohio State, finished his first (and only) season in Cleveland with 46 catches, 523 yards, and a pair of touchdowns.
The 29-year-old Hartline (30 in November) had become a focal point of Cleveland’s offense the weeks leading up to his injury, averaging 10 targets per game from Week 8 though 13. He didn’t score during that span, but he did haul in 26 passes for 266 yards. In fact, in the game where Hartline suffered his major collarbone injury, he recorded eight receptions for 107 yards before exiting early.
After spending the first six seasons of his career with the Dolphins, Hartline signed a two-year, $6MM deal with the Browns prior to the 2015 season. The club will now save $3MM against the cap by releasing Hartline him. After a total coaching and front office overhaul, it’s not a big surprise to see Hartline go.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.