Is Gary Barnidge contract extension good for Browns?


Gary Barnidge, the breakout tight end for the Cleveland Browns, signed a three-year deal worth over $12 million.

According to’s Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns have agreed to a three-year contract extension with tight end Gary Barnidge worth upwards of $12 million.

The question isn’t whether the Browns and Barnidge agreed, it’s whether or not this is a good deal for Cleveland.

Barnidge, who is 30 years old, is in the middle of his best season as a professional. He has been a rare bright spot for the worst team in football in the 2-10 Browns. The former Louisville Cardinal has 60 receptions for 817 yards and seven touchdowns. Before 2015, Barnidge had 44 receptions for 603 yards and three touchdowns in his seven-year NFL career.

Cleveland has made some odd personnel decisions over the years, but was it worthwhile to extend a 30-year old tight end in the middle of his best season as a professional?

Not that long ago, Cleveland had developed the next great superstar tight end in Jordan Cameron, now with the Miami Dolphins. He hasn’t panned out in Miami as they would have liked, but the Browns could have a system in place that is a boon for superior tight end play. That could mean that Barnidge is the product of the system he plays in.

However since tight ends are at a premium in 2015 with so many great ones succumbing to injury, perhaps Cleveland made a wise decision to lock up Barnidge long-term to a reasonably priced deal. He could continue to serve as a security blanket of sorts to the revolving door of a quarterback situation the Browns have had to deal with since rejoining the league in 1999.

It is a good story that Barnidge has job security with the Browns for the next several years, but it is up in the air if he will repeat the production of his best year to date over the next three years.

For a franchise that routinely makes poor decisions, this isn’t all that terrible — yet.