Cleveland Browns open up position at fullback, continue to search for their third or maybe even fourth tight end
The Cleveland Browns have made the decision to waive tight end/fullback Orson Charles and claim tight end Rico Gathers, who was recently released by the Dallas Cowboys. In so doing, the Browns open up the position of the primary fullback and add another option to audition for the third or potentially fourth tight end spot.
In terms of the locker room, moving on from Charles probably isn't terribly popular. Charles has established himself as somewhat of a spiritual leader and an energy guy, but in terms of raw talent and doing the job, it's not really a loss. It's a bit of a surprise insofar as it seemed like Charles was going to be the blocking back again this year, but it's not unreasonable to see if they can do better.
The Browns had added Joe Kerridge the day prior who is a fullback and the team had signed undrafted free agent Trayone Gray out of Miami(FL) who was their fullback last year, so they have a few options. Kerridge is more of a traditional fullback while Gray has a lot of speed for the position. And players like Seth DeValve have functioned in a blocking back role as well.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that the Browns could end up bringing back Charles later if they aren't satisfied with the options currently on the roster. He simply may not be in much demand as a free agent.
Meanwhile, Rico Gathers is a good athlete with tremendous size that hasn't put it together on the football field. The former Baylor Hooper has 3 career receptions for 45 yards and wasn't cut from a great tight end situation in Dallas. He's also going to be suspended the first game of the season.
It's not terribly likely that he'll make the Browns final roster, but he's got a little under a month with a head coach who has experience coaching tight ends to show something worth keeping. Along with DeValve, Pharaoh Brown and Mik'Quane Dean, they are trying to make a case to make the final roster with David Njoku and Demetrius Harris.