Andrew Berry and the Cleveland Browns need wide receivers and offensive linemen heading into the 2022 season.
He is off to a great start, tying up a guard/center and a guard/tackle/tight end to help protect Baker Mayfield.
And then he signed a wide receiver who caught every pass throw his way and averaged 16 yards-per-catch.
Browns have also tendered exclusive rights for:
WR Ja’Marcus Bradley
OL Michael Dunn
OL Blake Hance
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) March 7, 2022
Well, few folks outside of Cleveland might recognize the names involved, but Browns fans appreciate them.
That locks all three onto the roster heading into training camp.
— Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns® Football (@RaginCajunsFB) December 28, 2020
Bradley caught 4 passes last season across 5 games, gaining 64 yards and securing a pair of first downs.
Hance had a case for team MVP, filling holes as they opened all along the offensive line.
Though a guard by design, Hance covered right and left tackle, and blocking tight end as well.
Dunn got 2 starts at right guard among his 15 games played.
What Is an ERFA Tender?
Players with no more than 2 accrued NFL seasons whose contract is expiring are exclusive-rights free agents.
The term “free agent” is sort of a misnomer since the team controls their destiny.
Tender is another word for an offer, in this case, a minimum allowable salary to stay on the roster for a while.
Nothing is guaranteed, which leaves the player vulnerable to release at any point in the offseason.
Blake Hance working Bosa pic.twitter.com/h1tqaETzSf
— MIKE (@MikeCleveIand) October 11, 2021
But it offers a chance at staying on the roster of the team that knows the player best.
Unless the player gets cut or is not offered a tender, the ERFA can not negotiate with any other team.
It is legal to negotiate a different deal, but usually, those deals contain team-friendly splits and waivers.
So there is really no reason not to sign the ERFA, unless the player is mulling retirement.
What It Means To The Browns
Cleveland locks up 3 former UDFAs they think can develop into valuable players on the cheap.
Ja’Marcus Bradley is a speedy deep threat who gets the chance to challenge for a regular roster spot.
Blake Hance performed admirably as the emergency fill-in at several positions.
But he and the Browns hope he can settle into a more predictable routine for 2022.
What a remarkable performance from Michael Dunn against Pittsburgh. To put the reps he did on tape in the circumstances and against the competition he did is huge for his career. pic.twitter.com/p7HN7mJP78
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) January 15, 2021
Cleveland projects Michael Dunn as a valuable backup center/guard type as well.
None of these signings will change the Browns’ draft or free agency plans.
In the next week or two, the team will decide whether to tender any of their 5-6 restricted free agents.
And then the fun really begins.