With the release last week of tight end Jim Dray, the Browns find themselves in the market for another tight end.
The roster currently shows just Gary Barnidge, who was the surprise of the NFL in 2015, and E.J Bibbs, who struggled to get on the field as a rookie.
If it were three years ago, tight end Vernon Davis would be an attractive option. In 2013, while with the San Francisco 49ers, Davis had 52 receptions for 850 yards and 13 touchdowns. But since then Davis has seen his game take a steep decline, as in the past two seasons combined he has totaled just 64 receptions for 640 yards and two touchdowns.
Things got so bad that the 49ers traded Davis to the Denver Broncos last November, with many believing that catching passes from Peyton Manning rather than Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert would be the miracle elixir that Davis needed.
That didn’t happen, however, as Davis saw his playing time continually decrease as the season went along. Over the Broncos’ final six games, which included the playoffs, Davis only had one reception for five yards and was only targeted on four passes.
While Davis is a name that even casual Browns fans would recognize, he is also just barely ahead of former Browns’ tight end Rob Housler in the free agency rankings at Pro Football Focus, making it hard to imagine that the 32-year-old Davis has enough left for the Browns to consider him, even as a short-term solution at a thin position.
Next: Wide receiver Percy Harvin