Deshaun Watson's 11-game ban will give the Browns more quarterback depth to start the 2022 NFL season. They will also have more support at tight end after Jesse James, a former starter for the Steelers, and the team reached an agreement on a one-year contract on Sunday, according to ESPN.
David Njoku, the No. 1 tight end, was franchise-tagged by Cleveland earlier this offseason and then signed a four-year, $54.75 million contract, making him the fifth-highest paid player at the position.
However, after final cuts, they were left without a third tight end, thus James gives them seasoned backup insurance for Harrison Bryant.
Bryant was drafted in the fourth round in 2020 out of Florida Atlantic and is now in his third season with the Browns. In his first two seasons, he replaced Njoku and started 12 games, scoring three touchdowns in each of them.
The latter, selected with the 29th overall choice in 2017, has shown signs of being a play-making pass catcher but has also struggled with injuries, missing 16 games from 2019 to 2021.
James, 28, has seven years of experience but has played little lately. He spent the previous two seasons with the Lions before joining the Bears in 2021, when he started nine games and played a limited receiving role.
His four-year tenure with the Steelers, who selected him in 2015, is what made him most famous. He took Heath Miller's place as the team's top target at the position after two seasons in the Pro Bowl. In 2018, when he recorded a career-high 423 yards on 30 catches, he had his greatest year.