In the first two days of free agency, the Cleveland Browns made a splash. Now the Browns are retaining three of their own. Just this past week, the team announced they tendered the contracts of running back Chris Ogbonnaya, wide receiver Jordan Norwood and long snapper Christian Yount.
These moves are completely fine by me. All three of these players signed one-year deals and cannot signed by any other team. Although two of these players are reserve role players, Yount is one of the best long snappers in the game. After the crumbling of Ryan Pontbriand two seasons ago, the Browns signed Yount to fill the quiet crucial role. He hasn’t made one mistake yet.
Norwood is an under-the-radar player that was slowly becoming a favorite target of Brandon Weeden before injury ended his season last year. In two games played, Norwood had 13 catches and was targeted 19 times. He gained 137 yards, but more impressively averaged 10.5 yards per catch. Norwood could be the perfect slot receiver for Rob Chudzinski‘s new offense. This was a good move by Cleveland and Norwood has great potential if used properly.
After princess Peyton Hillis used every excuse not to play in the 2011 season, the Browns relied much on Ogbonnaya. Signed off of the Houston Texans practice squad, Ogbonnaya did his best in the four games he started rushing for 334 yards on 73 carries. The 26-year-old did find the end zone once and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. In 2012, the Browns primarily used him to catch-and-run out of the backfield. Ogbonnaya had 24 receptions for 187 yards last season. The year before that, Ogbonnaya stayed pretty consistent grabbing 23 receptions for 165 yards. The Texas native could also fit well in to the Browns’ offensive plans this season.
It’s nice to see the front office retaining some of their own free agents. Each one of these players brings something different to the table in 2013. Now, if we could only get a cornerback or two…
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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