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Browns TE Gary Barnidge Thriving as a Late Bloomer

Tight end Gary Barnidge is enjoying a career year as a 30 year old.

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Barnidge is defying the NFL's law of aging.

The 30-year-old tight end should be having yet another average season with the Cleveland Browns. That's not the case.

Through just 10 games, Barnidge has 667 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. These figures surpass his career totals entering this season.

Five Thirty Eight delved into Barnidge's career season in an interesting article, which included this table:

Gary Barnidge Graph

Courtesy of Five Thirty Eight

As the graph above shows, Barnidge's production has skyrocketed this season, exceeding all expectations for the Kentucky native.

This type of production is rare for an average, old tight end, as Five Thirty Eight's Reuben Fischer-Baum points out. Only nine players have notched a career high of 500 or more receiving yards in a season past the age of 30.

Barnidge has developed into a top target for Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel following the departure of Jordan Cameron in the offseason. Cameron signed a two-year, $15 million deal with the Dolphins in March.

Through nine games, Cameron has 21 receptions for 268 yards and one touchdown. Perhaps the Browns didn't make a mistake in failing to sign Cameron.

Speaking of free agency, Barnidge will become a free agent at the end of the season. The Browns will have to decide whether or not Barnidge's big season is a fluke or for real.

In the meantime, the Browns should enjoy Barnidge's unexpected breakout season at tight end.