The Browns have agreed to a deal with former Carolina Panthers tight end Gary Barnidge, CEO Joe Banner confirmed today during a news conference.
Barnidge, 27, played for Browns coach Rob Chudzinski last season while Chudzinski served as the offensive coordinator of the Panthers. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Barnidge started five of the 16 games in which he appeared and compiled six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.
The Panthers drafted Barnidge in the fifth round (No. 141 overall) in 2008. He spent the entire 2011 season on injured reserve after suffering a fractured left fibula and dislocated left ankle during a preseason practice. Other than missing that season, Barnidge has played in all but one game since he was drafted.
"I'm obviously familiar with Gary," Chudzinski said. "He's a younger player. He's had some injuries in the past and last year really had an opportunity to step up and really saw improvement in him. [He's] a versatile guy we're excited about."