Free agent wide receiver Brian Hartline has agreed to contract terms with the Cleveland Browns. Hartline was released by the Miami Dolphins last month.
Free agent wide receiver Brian Hartline has agreed to contract terms with the Cleveland Browns, the team announced Monday night.
Hartline's deal is for two years and a total of $6 million, according to cleveland.com. It's a return home of sorts for the receiver, who is from Canton, Ohio, and played collegiately at Ohio State.
"I'm very excited,'' Hartline told Northeast Ohio Media Group Monday night. "It came down to a little bit of a gut feeling. I did my due diligence and talked to my family. It's great to be back playing for the hometown team.''
"I didn't just want to just meet with teams to meet with them,'' he said. "I wanted to be able to able to picture myself in a situation, to be able to learn from a coaching staff and to build on what I've done for six years. I wanted to let things simmer down and take a little time.''
A six-year veteran, Hartline was originally a fourth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2009 NFL draft and spent his entire career with the organization until it released him late last month. He had signed a five-year, $31 million deal with the Dolphins in 2013.
Hartline recorded 1,000-plus receiving yards with Miami in both 2012 and 2013 but had just 39 receptions for 474 yards last season. He told cleveland.com that he also fielded interest from the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Houston Texans and even the Dolphins, provided Hartline was willing to accept a lesser salary.
The Browns were in the market for receiving help with Josh Gordon suspended for the entire 2015 season due to multiple violations of the league's drug program.
Earlier in free agency, the Browns agreed to terms with free-agent quarterback Josh McCown on a three-year deal.
Cleveland went 7-9 last season and finished last in the AFC North, missing the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year.
- Ben Estes