More Than Likely Safe:
50/50 Chance They’re In:
Outside Looking In:
Unless a trade happens, the top three tight ends are all locked up. Austin Hooper has some serious guarantees in his contract, and he is a borderline elite tight end. Dude has all of the makings to be the Browns next 1,000-yard receiving tight end. Harrison Bryant was drafted in the fourth round, so it is extremely unlikely to see him get cut. Especially since the Browns have had high praise for him.
The only reason that David Njoku is not an absolute lock is the possibility of a trade. Teams don’t accept fifth-year contracts if they think they might end up cutting the player. Njoku is most likely going to be the Browns second Tight End this season, and he could see some good numbers if he plays efficiently.
The fourth tight end spot is where things get interesting. My money is on Stephen Carlson being the one who ends up getting the job. He was impressive last season for the role and situation he was given. Pharaoh Brown is a quality backup though, so there will be a serious battle there. I don’t see undrafted free agent Nate Wieting being in the plans to make the roster and don’t really expect him to be on the practice squad week one.
Four tight ends in a practice should be more than enough, especially considering how some teams don’t use two-tight end packages nearly as much as the Browns will. I’m going with the Browns to carry four tight ends, Austin Hooper, David Njoku, Harrison Bryant, and Stephen Carlson.