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Former Browns TE joins the Bears

Stephen Carlson last played in the NFL in 2020

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Long ago, the NFL was a six-month (or so) league with the season and the offseason compacted into more confined spaces. Now, the NFL has become a 12-month league with little gaps between the next set of events.

With the NFL draft in our rearview, rookie minicamps and offseason activities take the stage. In the background, NFL free agency and the potential for trades linger. Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry noted that he could make moves in the next couple of weeks.

Yesterday, we shared a list of nine Browns from 2022 that were still on the free-agent market. Today, we get news that a different former player, last on the team in 2020, is signing with the Chicago Bears, TE Stephen Carlson:

In 25 games for Cleveland, including seven starts, Carlson had six receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. Pro Football Focus gave him an overall grade of 61.2 in 2019 and 57.9 in 2020.

Carlson had some good athletic traits coming out which he turned into being a quality blocker for the Browns. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in training camp in 2021 and, despite being healthy enough to work out, didn’t get signed to a team last season.

Cleveland will go into offseason activities with David Njoku and Jordan Akins at the top of their tight end depth chart with Harrison Bryant and Zaire Mitchell-Paden the other two options at the position.

Does anything about Carlson’s two years with the Browns stick out to you?