The Cleveland Browns got busy on Friday with a few housekeeping matters as they prepare for the start of free agency on March 17.
The Browns announced that they have tendered defensive end Porter Gustin and tight end Stephen Carlson, meaning both players will likely be back for the 2021 season.
Gustin and Carlson are both exclusive rights free agents, meaning they now have the option of signing their tender offer or sitting out the 2021 season. They will not be able to negotiate with other teams, but rather play on one-year contracts worth $850,000 and then be restricted free agents after the season.
Carlson made two starts last season while playing in all 16 games as the fourth tight end. He caught a single pass for 11 yards, but was a nice contributor on special teams, finishing the season with nine tackles, according to clevelandbrowns.com.
Gustin joined the Browns during the 2019 season. He played in 14 games this past season, making three starts, and finished with 28 tackles.
The most memorable plays by both Carlson and Gustin in 2020 came against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Carlson recovered the onside kick to clinch Cleveland’s season-ending victory against the Steelers, and Gustin had one of the team’s four interceptions of Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the following week as the Browns beat the Steelers in a Wild Card playoff game.