The Browns signed a cornerback from the Falcons and a tight end named Davis Friday.
Neither were the bigger names they were rumored to be interested in—Brent Grimes from Atlanta and Fred Davis from the Redskins.
However, they did sign tight end Kellen Davis and cornerback Chris Owens to one-year contracts.
“Kellen has played a lot in this league and has starting experience,” said Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski. “His size and strength give him the ability to be a good blocker. He is a big guy who can run and provides a big target. We feel like he has a chance to help us at the tight end position.”
Previously, the Browns had added Gary Barnidge, who was with Chudzinski in Carolina. Unless the Browns sign Fred Davis or draft a tight end fairly high in the draft it is expected that Kellen Davis, Barnidge and Jordan Cameron will compete for playing time this season. Brad Smelley was listed as a fullback and a tight end last season.
Davis (6-7, 265) was originally drafted by the Bears in the fifth round (158th overall) of the 2008 draft, Davis has not missed a game in his career, having played in all 80 regular season contests with 35 starts. He has registered 47 career receptions for 529 yards with 11 touchdowns. In 2012, he set career-highs in receptions (19) and receiving yards (229), while adding two touchdowns in 15 starts. In 2011, he recorded a career-high five touchdown catches, which tied for sixth-most among NFC tight ends that season. In addition, Davis has added 10 career special teams tackles. He was waived by Chicago on March 13, 2013.
Davis, 27, played at Michigan State (2004-07), where he totaled 60 career receptions for 789 yards with nine touchdowns.
Owens, 26, was originally drafted by the Falcons in the third round (90th overall) of the 2009 draft. Owens (5-9, 180) has appeared in 59 career regular season games with 12 starts. He has totaled 99 career tackles, three interceptions, 12 passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one sack.
In 2012, he played in 13 games with one start and registered 17 tackles, four passes defensed and one forced fumble as the Falcons allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL (14). Last season, Owens allowed an NFL quarterback passer rating of just 68.9 on passes thrown into his coverage. On special teams, he has totaled 27 tackles, including a career-best 10 in 2010, while also adding a fumble recovery in 2009.
“Chris is an experienced cornerback who has played both inside and outside,” Chudzinski said. “He is very athletic with good movement skills. He is a tough, hard-nosed competitor – attributes which we are looking for in all of our players.”
Owens is expected to compete for time in the sub packages in the secondary along with second-year players Trevin Wade, Johnson Bademosi and Buster Skrine.