Cut by the Browns after they traded up to get David Njoku, tight end Gary Barnidge is still looking for a job. The opportunities haven’t quite materialized in the way he had hoped.
“Of course, I would love to be the [number] one guy,” Barnidge told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday. “I’ve showed the last two years, with multiple different quarterbacks, I was still able to produce without one single guy, whether it be injuries or just things not working out. I’ve shown I’ve been able to produce with multiple guys throwing the ball. But I don’t think that’s an issue, but if they want me to come in and help mentor, I’ve got no problem doing that, either.”
The 31-year-old Barnidge realizes age may be a factor, but he’s still confident in his abilities — primarily because his body wasn’t chewed up early in his career.
“I know I’m getting up in my years, which is fine, but I still have plenty of years to play,” Barnidge said. “As long as I get the opportunity, I think teams will have no problem with that. They’ll see that I’m still ready, because the first seven years of my career, I never got an opportunity to start, so I didn’t have the wear and tear on my legs. I didn’t have any of that kind of stuff.”
Barnidge had 79 catches for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015 for the Browns, before dipping to 55 receptions, 612 yards, and two scores last year. That’s more than enough to get him a shot, somewhere. He visited the Bills since being released, and he has heard from the likes of the Jaguars and Broncos.
“The last two years, the first years I got to start, and in those two years, I put up good numbers,” Barnidge said. “I’ve been one of the top tight ends in the league. So my age and stuff, that has nothing to do with me. I’m still able to produce and I’ve shown that.”
Yes he has, but not enough to get him a chance to show what he can do elsewhere. It’s hard not to imagine the phone ringing at some point before training camp opens. At the latest, it’ll happen after guys currently with positions on a depth chart start getting banged up, as they inevitably will.