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Browns sign veteran free agent TE Gavin Escobar

The former second-round draft pick was given a reserve/futures contract by Cleveland on Monday

NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are starting to make the speculative player signings that are typical of the early offseason. But their newest roster addition is a more familiar name than most. The Browns announced on Monday the signing of veteran tight end Gavin Escobar to a reserve/futures contract.

Escobar, selected in the second round of the 2013 draft by the Dallas Cowboys, spent 2013 through 2016 with Dallas, appearing in 62 games with seven starts. He amassed 30 career receptions on 48 targets for 333 yards and eight touchdowns while playing behind well-established starter Jason Witten. He then was briefly a member of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017 before being released in September. He was also active for two games with the Baltimore Ravens in October and November, but did not record any catches nor targets.

Escobar joins a Browns tight end group that was led in 2017 by rookie David Njoku, who had 32 catches on 60 targets for 386 yards and four touchdowns and Seth DeValve, who caught 33 passes on 58 targets for 395 yards and one score. The signing does not guarantee that Escobar will remain on Cleveland’s roster for the 2018 season, nor should it much affect the job securities of either Njoku or DeValve, at least for the time being.

However, it is a notable addition given that Escobar has shown flashes of being a capable receiver as well as the signing having taken place just as the Browns try to find solutions to improve an offense that struggled in 2017. Escobar is also somewhat of a known quantity to new Browns general manager John Dorsey, with Escobar spending time with the Chiefs while Dorsey was the team’s general manager. However, Dorsey and the Chiefs parted ways just three months after Escobar had been signed.