Browns reportedly sign wide receiver Earl Bennett

Browns wfny

The Browns may have taken their first real step in adding an option to compensate for their lack of depth at wide receiver. Jake Jones of KFBB in Helena, Montana is reporting that the Browns have signed former Bears wide reciever Earl Bennett.

The 27-year-old Bennett caught 32 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns last season, his sixth with the Bears after being selected in the 3rd round in 2008. The 6-foot wideout was on the field for just under 54% of the team’s snaps last season, but he was primarily used as an underneath option, with 26 of his 32 receptions coming from passes shorter than 10 yards. The Bears cut their third receiver after he refused to take a pay cut on March 18th.

With Josh Gordon facing a potential year-long suspension, the Browns have free agent signees Andrew Hawkins and Nate Burleson (who broke his arm in training camp) along with incumbents Greg Little, Josh Cooper, Travis Benjamin, Tori Gurley, and Charles Johnson. They also signed undrafted free agents Chandler Jones, Jonathan Krause, Kenny Shaw, and Willie Snead following last weekend’s draft.

The Browns weren’t going to replace the threat that is Josh Gordon, though a second or third round selection at the position could have provided a player that would likely make an immediate impact and ease the blow. As it stands, the Browns will likely need to continue to puruse trade options or more cap casulaties to add another veteran option. Right now, they have a bunch of capable third and fourth receivers without any proven legit first or second options.

Related: Browns Film Room: A look at Justin Gilbert

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    As long as he (or any other WR) can catch the ball when it’s thrown to him, he will help Johnny Manziel. We all know he can’t replicate Josh Gordon’s production, but catching what’s thrown his way will build confidence in a young QB.

  • Hopwin

    I’d settle for a replacement for Greg Little.

  • Harv 21

    exactly. I don’t pretend to be an expert on what the new guy brings, but anything that pushes Greg Little down the depth chart or even off the roster is all right by me. He may “block like a Brown” but that can’t be sufficient if your position is not offensive lineman.

  • Kildawg

    What “big name” WRs did Seattle have? An injured Percy Harvin is all I can think of. As long as the defense shuts down opponents with OL blocking with a QB that minimizes mistakes with some ground and pound, Browns ought to be just fine.

  • JHop

    They may not be “big name”, but I’d take Sidney Rice and Golden Tate over any non-Gordon WR currently on the Browns roster hands down. You could make an argument for Hawkins, but it’d be a close call nonetheless.

  • Harv 21

    true, they may not need “names” at WR but they will need something other than little smurfy slot types. In addition to their TE, they will need at least one receiver big/strong enough to avoid getting jammed at the line and able to get open. If you only do a ground and pound defenses will put 9 in the box and you’ll get Hoyer or a rookie killed by consistently putting them in third and long. There has to be some offensive balance. They have to pick up another, bigger WR.

  • MrCleaveland

    Just curious. How is a guy in Helena, Montana breaking Browns news?

  • RGB

    You know you want me.

  • MrCleaveland

    Nice dogtag there, TO. I wonder where he took Basic.

  • Pat Leonard

    Meh.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    As long as the defense shuts down opponents with OL blocking with a QB that minimizes mistakes with some ground and pound

    Is that all? Pfft no problem!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Ray Ray Farmer gets around!

  • saggy

    I’d like to see Little “sink like a Brown.”

  • saggy

    might as well sign chad johnson, too, while you’re at it. And hire PT Barnum to do PR.

  • Harv 21

    honestly, if there was a CBA-compliant drug that paralyzed just his vocal cords I’d do it. TO as a Marcel Marceau of self-aggrandizement and displeasure, JFF back in his face actually screaming, TO throwing gatorade in frustration at his muteness … that’s entertainment.

  • Garry_Owen

    Um, Super Bowl.

  • CBI

    Think we might be too late, I believe he signed in Canada.

  • Harv 21

    Browns sign Miles Austin. The size they need but this guy has missed so much production because of bad hamstrings the last few years …

  • Natedawg86

    Is Miles Austin less Meh?

  • RGB

    Too soon.

  • Pat Leonard

    When healthy, yes :) You know… it’s just that he’s never healthy :( still a decent signing though.

  • Natedawg86

    Why do CLE team’s seasons always have a list of ‘ifs’

  • Pat Leonard

    I’m convinced that the biggest Cleveland sports fan in the history of the world also committed the most heinous/despicable sins imaginable, so that’s why God decreed that there would always be a list of “ifs”.