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Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 9:11pm
Browns tight ends coach Greg Seamon has dubbed the players he oversees “Gary and the kids.” And Connor Hamlett is separating himself from the other kids.
Pro Bowl tight end Gary Barnidge is a lock to start, but the prominent role of the No. 2 tight end in coach Hue Jackson’s offense is up for grabs. Hamlett, Seth DeValve, E.J. Bibbs, J.P. Holtz, David Reeves and Randall Telfer are the competitors. Bibbs is the only one who has appeared in an NFL regular-season game.
But Hamlett, a 6-foot-7, 259-pound Oregon State product, looks like he’s the one best prepared to make a leap in his career. After a stellar spring, he’s been among the most pleasant surprises for the Browns through their first five practices of training camp.
Barnidge hasn’t been participating in team drills during camp because he’s still working his way back from June 2 sports hernia surgery. Hamlett has thrived in Barnidge’s starting spot. Hamlett had some injuries in college and contemplated retiring from football. Barnidge was an age-30 breakout player who put up great numbers last year 79-1,043-9 on 125 targets. His short fantasy resume doesn't make him a safe pick. Hamlett's progress and Barnidge's current injury makes this a situation to pay attention to.
Posted by Jordan Heck
Friday, August 12, 2016 - 4:48pm
After doing pretty much nothing but sit on the bench and block for the first six seasons of his career, Gary Barnidge came out of nowhere and had a Pro Bowl 2015 season. He finished as the No. 3 TE in fantasy by catching 79 passes for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Browns didn't change anything at the tight end position in the offseason, and Barnidge has a comfortable grasp on the starting job.
Barnidge has a new quarterback and is playing in a new system, so there's no guarantee he'll put up the same, or even similar numbers this year. In addition, teams have had time to study Barnidge, and he'll no longer be a player that opposing defenses will doubt.
We don't expect Barnidge to put up another 1,000-yard season, but there's enough reason to like him in 2016. His situation isn't the best, but he should still project to be a low-end TE1.
2016 Strength of Schedule - CLE
Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.
2015 Game Stats
|Per game||4.94||65.19||0.56||7.81||13.20||0||0||0||0||0.00||59.06/69.31||84.79% |