The Browns and Washington Redskins “are serious about signing” tight end Fred Davis, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter this morning.
This isn’t the first time Davis’ name has been tied to the Browns. On Wednesday, Jason La Canfora of CBS reported the Browns “have some interest” in Davis, a 27-year-old Toledo native.
The 6-foot-4, 247-pound Davis had 24 catches for 325 yards last year with the Redskins before rupturing his left Achilles tendon and missing the final nine regular-season games. However, if Davis can bounce back from the injury, he could be one of the top prizes in this year’s class of free-agent tight ends.
In 2011, Davis tested positive for marijuana several times, according to the Washington Post, and the NFL suspended him for the final four games of the season following a failed drug test. He finished the season with career-high 59 catches for 769 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games.
As a result of injury and suspension, Davis hasn’t played a full season since 2010, when he caught 21 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns. In 2009, he tallied 48 receptions for 509 yards and a career-high six touchdowns.
There obviously would be some risk in signing Davis, whom the Redskins drafted in the second round (No. 48 overall) in 2008. But the Browns need a starting tight end to replace free-agent Benjamin Watson, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they’re in the hunt for Davis.
The Browns have Jordan Cameron, but he's still raw and unproven at this point. They also signed former Carolina Panthers tight end Gary Barnidge on Wednesday, but he’s expected to continue to serve as a role player.
Aside from Davis, Brandon Myers of the Oakland Raiders is another free-agent tight end to watch. He had 79 catches for 806 yards and four touchdowns this past season.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner each have a history of featuring tight ends in their systems. So whoever ends up succeeding Watson will be expected to become a significant contributor.