As previously reported Tuesday night, the Browns agreed to terms of a contract with former Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Desmond Bryant. The team formally announced the agreement this morning.
Below is a news release from the Browns, which includes comments from coach Rob Chudzinski and CEO Joe Banner. The Browns also have struck deals with outside linebackers Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves.
Although Bryant played tackle in the Raiders’ 4-3 scheme last season, Chudzinski indicates in his statement the Browns plan to use him at end and tackle in their 3-4 multi-front scheme. That's not a surprise, considering the Browns need help at end.
Bryant is scheduled to address the media Thursday at the Browns’ headquarters in Berea. Here is the release from the team:
The Cleveland Browns today announced they have agreed to terms on a five-year contract with defensive lineman Desmond Bryant as an unrestricted free agent from Oakland.
“Desmond is a player who possesses very good size and athleticism, attributes which make him very difficult to block,” said Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski. “When you watch him play, he is always around the quarterback, and will provide a boost to our pass rush. He is a solid run defender and can play multiple positions along the line, which will allow him to be a part of both our base and sub-packages.”
“With the additions of Paul and Desmond, we believe that we have significantly improved our defense overall, particularly our front seven,” said Browns CEO Joe Banner. “This was one of our goals entering free agency, and we are thrilled that we were able to accomplish that. Like Paul, Desmond gives us someone with great size and athleticism for his position, and an ability to rush the passer, the key to any successful defense.”
Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Raiders in 2009, Bryant has appeared in 63 regular season games with 18 starts, missing just one contest during his four-year NFL career. He has registered 124 career tackles, 11.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
In 2012, he appeared in all 16 games, recording a career-high 48 stops, one forced fumble and one blocked field goal. He tied for the team-lead with four sacks, registering one in each of the team’s final four contests. He also recorded 12 quarterback hits, a figure which tied for sixth among NFL defensive tackles. He also notched seven tackles for loss on the year. In 2011, he totaled a career-high five sacks, while adding 35 tackles and one forced fumble.
Bryant appeared in 32 games at Harvard University (2004-06, 2008), where he recorded 66 tackles and 13.5 sacks. He was a second-team All-Ivy League selection as a senior after recording 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 10 games. Born on December 15, 1985, the 6-6, 310-pound Bryant is a native of Elizabethtown, North Carolina, where he attended East Bladen High School. Along with football, he earned four letters in track and field and three in basketball. His brother, Brenton, was also a defensive lineman at Harvard.