Cleveland Browns: With Hunter Henry off the board, what’s next at TE?

JCleveland Browns HeHunter Henry (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
JCleveland Browns HeHunter Henry (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

With news of the Los Angeles Chargers placing the franchise tag on Hunter Henry, the tight end is all but officially off the board for the Cleveland Browns.

One of the names that Cleveland Browns’ fans were hoping would be on the team’s shortlist in free agency was none other than Los Aneles Charger tight end, Hunter Henry. That is now no longer the case as the Chargers have announced plans to franchise tag the 25-year-old.

The news hurts for Browns fans, many of whom were hoping to land the ultra-talented player in free agency, despite past concerns with injuries. Henry has missed 23 games in his career, with 16 of those coming in the 2018 season when he was out for the entire year. When he’s on the field though he’s extremely productive, having caught 136 receptions for 1,709 yards, with 17 touchdowns.

There have been rumblings that the team may look at adding some tight ends to the roster after David Njoku fell into Freddie Kitchens’ dog house last season. His play, when he was healthy and on the field, was poor at best, which worried people about his growth as a player. His subsequent issues with Kitchens has some wondering if he doesn’t have a major attitude problem as well.

With Henry off the board, the Browns would do well to look to the 2020 NFL Draft to fill the need at the position. While you may no longer be looking for a starter, Njoku is in the last year of his deal and the team could look to move on from him if he again struggles or becomes a malcontent. Picking a guy in the third or fourth round makes sense, with the hope that you can develop him to play the position in the near future.

There’s always a chance Henry could still be a Brown, but it seems unlikely now.

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