The Cleveland Browns have agreed to terms with tight end Darren Fells, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. It will be a three-year deal worth $12 million over the life of the contract.
Fells spent the 2017 season with the Detroit Lions and caught 17 passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Prior to joining the Lions last season, he had spent the past three years with the Arizona Cardinals. He caught 40 passes for 536 yards and four touchdowns. Standing at 6-foot-7, Fells is a natural target when his offense is in the red-zone.
But Fells is more known for his run blocking ability than his catch passing. Adding the 31-year-old tight end to the Browns offense will help bolster the run game.
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Cleveland entered the offseason appearing to be set at the tight end position. David Njoku was drafted in the first round in 2016 and had a solid rookie season. Seth DeValve has been a good complimentary tight end as a receiver. But both struggle when they are asked to run block. The Browns were forced to bring in their third tight end Randall Telfer in run situations because of the poor run blocking from Njoku and DeValve.
Fells will likely be brought into the game during run situations. Cleveland could also use two tight end sets with Fells in-line and putting Njoku or DeValve in the slot or further out wide. Njoku will remain the starter, but may see more time on the outside than he did last year. Fells signing with Cleveland should not put DeValve’s roster spot in jeopardy, but it may put Telfer on the cutting block.
Coming right after Cleveland agreed to terms with running back Carlos Hyde, it appears the Browns are attempting to improve their run game in 2018. The Browns also agreed to terms with two offensive linemen on Tuesday.