The Cleveland Browns are continuing to add veteran depth at the wide receiver position in what is likely an attempt to mitigate the possible impending loss of star WR Josh Gordon.
The team officially announced the signing of WR Miles Austin on Thursday afternoon.
BREAKING: Cleveland Browns have agreed to terms with WR Miles Austin. pic.twitter.com/T2QHei6FVj
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 15, 2014
The two-time Pro Bowler, who will turn 30 next month, had his release from the Dallas Cowboys announced back in March following his least productive season since the breakout performance in 2009.
He originally joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2006 but largely flew under the radar during his first three years in the league. Then after his back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons, which included the monster 1,320 yard, 11 touchdown tally from 2009, his continued success was cut short by both a series of hamstring injuries and the emergence of WR Dez Bryant.
However, if the injuries are behind him, Austin has a good shot of making the Browns' final 53-man roster. He's also considered a great teammate and can bring more veteran leadership to the locker room.
Additionally, the Browns have also just recently announced the signing of former Bears WR Earl Bennett.
The 27-year-old is entering his seventh year in the NFL, all previously which he spent in Chicago. He's never surpassed 700 yards in a season and has been steadily declining in terms of total production, although some of that can be attributed to the huge success of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Still, Bennett is a sure-handed receiver joining a team that was plagued by drops for the last several seasons.
These two moves as well as the aggressive signings of several UDFAs further illustrate GM Ray Farmer's plan to address the WR position outside of the draft, in which he described "plenty of opportunities" to do just that.