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Report: Browns to sign receiver Earl Bennett

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Despite a seemingly obvious need at the wide receiver position, the Cleveland Browns did not use any of their six draft picks on a receiver during last weekend’s NFL Draft.

With star receiver Josh Gordon facing a possible year-long suspension for another violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy and Nate Burleson suffering a broken arm in offseason workouts, the Browns are woefully short on proven pass catchers on their roster.

While the team did add four receivers via undrafted free agency, the Browns have finally added another veteran option to their receiving corps.

According to Jake Jones of KFBB-TV in Helena, Mont., the Browns will sign former Chicago Bears receiver Earl Bennett.

Bennett was released by the Bears in March after playing his first six seasons with the franchise.

Bennett 185 passes for 2,277 yards and 12 touchdowns in his six years in the Windy City, Bennett’s most productive performance came in his second year with the team in 2009 when he caught 54 passes for 717 yards and two touchdowns. Last season, Bennett caught 32 passes for 243 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.

General manager Ray Farmer said there was “plenty of opportunities” for the team to potentially add a receiver after the draft. The Browns apparently feel Bennett was the best option available.

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50 Responses to “Report: Browns to sign receiver Earl Bennett”
  1. doggpound4ever says: May 15, 2014 12:28 AM

    Great signing. Go Browns. Our time is coming.

  2. johnqlunchbox says: May 15, 2014 12:51 AM

    So take that, you Cleveland haters! Instead of winding up with a lowly Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans, we instead have the mighty and fearsome Earl Bennett!

  3. bearshaterseverywhere says: May 15, 2014 12:57 AM

    Earl is a good receiver. Bears are stacked, Cleveland makes a great pick up here.

  4. wayneflores says: May 15, 2014 1:22 AM

    Poor Johnny Football….welcome to hell.
    Wait until a real NFL linebacker gets a chance to slam your Sports illustrated face into the ground. One good thing, it should be a short season, IR sideline section has your reservation already.
    Should have pulled an Elway or Eli move and refuse to go to lousy team. Daddy should have been looking out for your best interest like Elis daddy.

  5. rajbais says: May 15, 2014 1:30 AM

    That’s pathetic. He was done right after Mike Martz left Chicago.

    Ray Farmer was dumb to trust his board because the draft is an art and not a science.

    I’m not a GM, but there’s contradictions to “trusting your board” because when you have a board it makes no sense to focus on your needs. You should focus on needs because your team is worse before entering the draft.

    Make it simple. Just don’t pick players that would get clearly get your ass fired. Those kinds of players are ones who are drafted at least 25 picks too early such as James Carpenter, Brandon Weeden, Christian Ponder, John Beck, Ted Ginn, Chris Henry (tailback from Arizona in 2007), etc.; or ones that create positional overstock like Dion Jordan, Taylor Lewan, Big Mike Williams, Jason Campbell, Mike Jenkins, Willis McGahee, etc.

    The Browns are desperate and will be losers again.

    They’re losers annually because it’s their fault and not bad luck.

  6. hpente86 says: May 15, 2014 1:33 AM

    Reminds me of a poor man’s Davon Bess, Pryor to joining the browns, only a little taller with less illegal activity. At this point, any wide receiver addition is good.

  7. hpente86 says: May 15, 2014 1:34 AM

    Whatever keeps Greg Little on the sidelines is good with me lol

  8. no says: May 15, 2014 2:08 AM

    for some reason I always think earl bennett is like 35

  9. bringbackkosar says: May 15, 2014 2:43 AM

    ouch

  10. codenamez says: May 15, 2014 3:01 AM

    This is your plan? Ew.

  11. brownsmakemecrazy says: May 15, 2014 3:13 AM

    Lol. This is your plan Farmer , Haslem, and Pettine? But defense was a bigger priority in the draft right? This kind of stupidity will generate 2 wins this year

  12. tanstewie says: May 15, 2014 3:14 AM

    Nothing like the Browns beat reporters (past n present) getting scooped by a guy in Helena, Montana.

  13. clownsfan says: May 15, 2014 4:17 AM

    Or they just felt like kicking his tires…….plenty of time.

  14. phuriousjorge says: May 15, 2014 5:29 AM

    I think it was three years ago, this guy did not drop one pass all season. I thought Cutler should have targeted him more than he did. Nice pick-up.
    Some of us are rooting for you Cleveland.

    Bears Fan

  15. drfeelyouup says: May 15, 2014 5:31 AM

    They can still trade for someone smarty pants

  16. wryly1 says: May 15, 2014 5:59 AM

    Gordon put up impressive numbers last year, but it didn’t result in many wins. With new coaches, coordinators and systems in place, it appears they will try to do more ball/clock control with a running game – and dink & dunk it down the field with West Coast type offense.

  17. sowcrates says: May 15, 2014 6:00 AM

    He was behind in Chicago when it came to Trestman’s offense, just didn’t look like he could make himself fit. I would say its a decent fit for the Browns, but I hesitate because I thought the same thing for the same reasons about Davone Bess. Slot guy who does nothing fancy but should be consistent and adequate in THEORY. He was Cutler’s boy and never really got going. Compare that to what Cutler did with Johnny Knox and it doesn’t speak very highly of Bennett

  18. Indybear says: May 15, 2014 6:22 AM

    Earl is a great guy and a good player with above average hands, but has lost a step in recent years. Wish the Bears could have kept him and hope he does well with the Browns. They’re going to need him.

  19. jojopuppyfish says: May 15, 2014 6:43 AM

    As a long time bears fan, I think Earl has a tough time getting open.
    But he has good hands and he’s a very good 3rd down receiver

  20. metalhead65 says: May 15, 2014 6:58 AM

    smart move by the Browns. if he is healthy he will be Johnny Football’s go to man just like he was with Jay Cutler. his numbers were not that great with the Bears because he was injured and played in a Lovie Smith offense before last year, and he was not going to get many catches after Marshall and Jeffery last season. but he is a dependable receiver when healthy and Cutler almost always went to him when they needed a first down.

  21. saltydog17 says: May 15, 2014 7:28 AM

    There will be other wide-outs that become available as the process goes on into the season. Losing Gordon hurts but a strong running game and good defense go a long way.

  22. kevinokev says: May 15, 2014 7:34 AM

    Solid starter and was sad to see him leave Chicago. Very good hands and always had yards after the catch. This would have been a good pick up for any team.

  23. ytownie says: May 15, 2014 8:01 AM

    Throw a bunch of pennies on the table and hope you find a dime hidden among them. This has become the Browns view in solving the wide receiver problem.

  24. bassplucker says: May 15, 2014 8:06 AM

    Earl Bennett is a solid player and a good guy. He was under-utilized by Lovie, lost some time to injuries and never really found his place in the Trestman regime. He is a legit 2/3 WR and much better than Burleson. Good signing for the Browns and as a Bears fan I wish him well.

  25. mustangbryk says: May 15, 2014 8:12 AM

    Browns are not done yet. Once training camps start we will sure up the WR positon.

  26. ragnarthegreat says: May 15, 2014 8:17 AM

    good off the bench guy, maybe for a 4 wide package but not a 1 or a 2. Cleveland will be watching the waiver wire and looking to make a trade.

  27. robp35 says: May 15, 2014 8:18 AM

    Why are the Browns going after guys like Miles Austin who yes find themselves in the ice tub frequently? Start sticking up on guys and drop them if they can’t hang in camp. The Hoyer/Johnny football tandem needs all the help they can get!

  28. mustangbryk says: May 15, 2014 8:19 AM

    Actually after doing more research on Bennett this is a huge signing. he was logg jammed behind bmarsh and jeffery and still had 32 catches and 4 tds. Guy can easily handle 50-60 catches a season. Ray Farmer is the man finding talent so far. Can’t wait to see if all this pans out.

  29. drdoom82 says: May 15, 2014 8:23 AM

    lol #Browns

  30. joefelicelli says: May 15, 2014 8:27 AM

    Earl Bennett is a solid player. Staying healthy was his biggest issue. If he is 100%, expect 50-60 catches and 3-5 TDs. Not a #1, but can be a solid complementary receiver.

  31. mortwannabe says: May 15, 2014 8:49 AM

    Earl’s a good guy. Good luck in Cleveland.

  32. brownoholic says: May 15, 2014 9:34 AM

    Let off some steam, Bennett . . .

  33. sportsfangalaxy says: May 15, 2014 9:50 AM

    Earl Bennett Filled the Cleveland Browns team need for wide receiver. He is a smart football player.

  34. sean222 says: May 15, 2014 10:15 AM

    Did anyone out there watch the Redskins the last few seasons? Who is their guy, Garson? 1000+ yards and he is no fireball. We have a 4.3 guy in Benjamin; a good slot in Hawkins, Nate will be fine for training camp, we have Little who can now play on the outside rather than the slot where he is much better, and Cameron at tight end. Adding Bennett is a great move in case Nate struggles. It is a spread offense. All is good.

  35. demdawgz says: May 15, 2014 10:40 AM

    Santonio Holmes is still out there as well. They did pick up a solid Wr in Bennett

  36. sparky151 says: May 15, 2014 11:04 AM

    Bennett is better than Greg Little. So instead of a terrible WR2, the Browns will have a merely below average WR2. Hawkins is a decent WR3, and perhaps Little can become an ok WR4. But there is still no WR1 in Gordon’s absence. The Browns better hope the league revises it’s marijuana use policy (in a deal with the union over HGH) or it will be a long season in Cleveland.

  37. earpaniac says: May 15, 2014 11:18 AM

    Earl isn’t a no.1, but he is a very dependable NFL receiver. He rarely drops a pass, doesn’t mind going over the middle, and is incredible on 3rd down. The Bears only cut him because of salary cap, they had asked him to take a pay cut so they could keep him, but he declined. Every team needs an Earl Bennett type player.

  38. lutch57 says: May 15, 2014 11:35 AM

    Pass on Sammy Watkins, sign Earl Bennett. These Browns know what they’re doing.

  39. beardownfromcali says: May 15, 2014 12:09 PM

    Goodbye Earl!

  40. fumblenuts says: May 15, 2014 12:36 PM

    Welcome to the Factory, now clock in and start your shift……

  41. gbfranz says: May 15, 2014 12:45 PM

    It’s called wait until???????

  42. tonybot3 says: May 15, 2014 12:46 PM

    Seems like all the Bears fans here are touting it as a good pickup. I’ll take their word over someone just trying to pile on the Browns.

  43. cincyalldaway says: May 15, 2014 12:51 PM

    ONLY the Browns would consider Earl Bennett a better option than any of the GOOD, YOUNG wide receivers in this years draft. And there were PLENTY of them. Yes….the Factory of Sadness is indeed open for business yet again! Welcome to the mistake by the lake Earl! You’ll fit right in with that side show clown Johnny “man I wish they hadn’t drafted me” Manziel. This is truely funny stuff, you just can’t make this sh!t up!

  44. catchhester23 says: May 15, 2014 12:53 PM

    Wonder if he will get in trouble for breaking out the orange shoes? Great hands but concussion’s is the reason I think the bears cut him. The last one he had kept him sidelined a long time, took a week before light didn’t bother him… Not good. Good luck though.

  45. thevza says: May 15, 2014 1:21 PM

    Bennett is definitely an asset. I wish he could have stayed in Chicago. He’s the guy who has a quiet game, then all of a sudden when the team needs him the most there he is with some clutch 3rd down conversions. Plus I like how he’s tough to bring down- usually requires two guys to tackle him. Smart, hard-nosed player. Good pickup for the Brownies.

  46. cbdawger7 says: May 15, 2014 1:22 PM

    Don’t get what people wanted the Browns/Farmer to do. Our biggest needs were 1. QB. 2. OL. 3. Corner/wr. 4. RB. (One you can count on for the whole season 5. Safety. 6. LB

    They got the qb and decided to protect him rather than let him ( or Hoyer). Good move not only for protection but also for Shanahans system. Also need a RB to run that offense since they’re so important to it……and again can’t count on Tate.

    CB was chosen over WR because Pettine was D…particularly D that can cover in the pass game.

    If Farmer got the WR over the CB / QB / OL / RB people would be whining just the same, just about a different position. “great job Browns… Get a QB and let him run for his life….what a joke!”…..or “….and have no insurance at RB for him….what a joke!”

    They did a great job….2 more firsts and a second and we could have gotten those WRs and another OL we need. We’ll make due in 2014 and address it in the draft next year. Relax folks.

  47. ztm54 says: May 15, 2014 1:29 PM

    Look at it this way, weren’t the Browns the same team last year that had 2 punters and no QB headed into camp? Now they have no Wr’s, no Rb’s AND no QB’s. great job!

    Here’s another way of looking at it: The fire on the lake has been put out, downtown is still under construction (since 1968), and there’s pretty good artwork on the sides of the buildings.

    Don’t worry though. Just like MLK had a dream, so did Lebron James. It won’t be long before he’s catching passes and blocking FG’s and winning the Super Bowl MVP – just like he did for the Cavs

  48. masher1965 says: May 15, 2014 2:04 PM

    Bennett is a solid receiver and as posted ahead of me, not a #1 0r 2 but a solid 3 . His biggest problem is staying healthy. If he stays healthy, he is good for about 60 catches and 5-6 TDs. I think the main reason the Bears let him go was because he had problems staying healthy, the Bears had a younger receiver ready to step up ( Wilson ) and his salary was a bit high for a guy that suddenly became expendable. The Browns got a solid guy, just not a #1 .

  49. oldcracker says: May 15, 2014 4:07 PM

    While I’m a Browns fan, my wife is a Bears fan. So, I get to see quite a few Bears games. Bennett always seemed solid but not flashy and he doesn’t run his mouth or throw tantrums on the sidelines.

    He is NOT expected to take Gordon’s place, just another set of hands to test out.

    Now, where is that Titus Young fella?

  50. jaygruntboston says: May 15, 2014 9:10 PM

    Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: “It doesn’t matter who you sign!!!! You’ll always be the Cleveland Clowns!!!!”

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