CLEVELAND - According to a NewsChannel5 source, the Browns are "close" to signing Carolina Panthers tight end Gary Barnidge.
The Browns will mostly likely use the tight end more than they have in the past with new head coach Rob Chudinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Barnidge started five of the 16 games. He had six catches for 78 yards and a TD last season.
The Panthers drafted Barnidge in the fifth round in 2008. He spent the entire 2011 season on injured reserve after suffering a fractured left fibula and dislocated left ankle during a preseason practice.
The Browns let Ben Watson become a free agent and will probably try to get another tight end in the off season.
The 27-year-old is in his sixth season out of Louisville.