The Cleveland Browns signed tight end Darren Fells to a modest three-year contract in March of 2018.
Fells, who spent the previous season with the Detroit Lions, was an afterthought for many, brought in to supply depth behind tight ends David Njoku and Seth DeValve.
But just like he did with the Lions, and with the Arizona Cardinals for three seasons prior to Detroit, Fells proved to be a player who makes the most of his opportunities:
#Browns Baker Mayfield targeted TE Darren Fells just 9 times in 2018, but the connection was highly productive. Fells caught 8 of 9 passes for 3 TDs and a 147.9 passer rating when targeted pic.twitter.com/L1JETAiwqo— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) February 1, 2019
This was the third time in his five-year career that Fells has finished with three touchdown receptions, but the first time he has accomplished it on so few receptions. He had three touchdown receptions with the Cardinals in 2015 on 21 receptions, and again with the Lions in 2017 on just 17 receptions.
Fells took a different path to the NFL as he spent five years after college playing professional basketball in Belgium, Finland, France, Mexico and Argentina. He spent training camp with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and 2014 before joining Arizona’s practice squad. He finally made the Cardinals’ active roster as a 28-year-old rookie in 2014.
The veteran tight end may not fill up the box score on a weekly basis, but as long as he continues to find the end zone when given the chance, the Browns will be happy with him on the field.