After drafting Johnny Manziel, the Cleveland Browns decided to give him some help on the offensive line by drafting Joel Bitonio in the second round, passing on top wide receiver prospect Marqise Lee. They failed to draft any WR help, choosing instead to add running back Terrance West, as well as cornerback Pierre Desir, who was a steal in the fourth round. Their decision to pass on wide receivers has forced them to sign veterans in free agency, with Miles Austin being the biggest name. The Browns also added former Chicago Bears slot receiver Earl Bennett, and both guys are certainly better than what they had. Adding a WR2 next to Josh Gordon was a need going into the draft, and Gordon’s possible year-long suspension made it a desperate need coming out of the draft after the Browns failed to snag a young, talented wideout.
Well, the Browns have decided to add another veteran to the mix to try and patch up the holes, as Pro Football Talk reports that the team has signed former Washington Redskins starter Anthony Armstrong, who is 31. Armstrong seemed poised to reunite with the Redskins this offseason after working out with the team last month and trying out with them early this month in minicamp, but the Browns and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have decided to add him.
Armstrong caught 44 passes for 871 yards and three touchdowns in a solid 2010 season for the Redskins, and that was easily the best year of his career. Since then, he’s had just ten caches in 20 combined appearances in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, so this isn’t exactly a big signing. It will be interesting to see how much Armstrong contributes, and he’s ideally deep veteran depth on a roster that could use more depth at the position. Since the draft, the Browns have signed a big name in Austin, a medium name in Bennett, a small-name vet in Armstrong, and they released the incredibly drop-prone Greg Little, who is honestly better than Armstrong. Honestly, I’m surprised the Browns signed him in the first place, and we’ll see if Shanahan has anything planned for the WR5 (or six).