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Browns expected to sign Panthers free-agent TE Gary Barnidge, according to Charlotte Observer

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 13, 2013

Carolina Panthers' Gary Barnidge (82) runs past Tennessee Titans' Mike Rivera (57) in the fourth quarter of the Panthers' 15-7 win in a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Rick Havner)The Browns are expected to sign free-agent tight end Gary Barnidge, the Charlotte Observer’s Joseph Person reported this morning.

Barnidge, 27, played for Browns coach Rob Chudzinski last season while Chudzinski served as the offensive coordinator of the Carolina 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.

Considering Barnidge was a role player for the Panthers, the Browns would still be in the market for a starting tight end to replace Benjamin Watson, who’s a free agent. Brandon Myers of the Oakland Raiders and Fred Davis of the Washington Redskins are still on the open market, and the Browns have some interest in Davis, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported this morning.

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