Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Browns are releasing TE Gary Barnidge on Friday.
Barnidge confirmed the news via his Twitter account:
I want to thank the Cleveland Browns for giving me my opportunity and looking forward to seeing the change. Time for the next step.
— Gary Barnidge (@garybarnidge) April 28, 2017
This comes just hours after the Browns traded back into round one to select TE David Njoku.
Barnidge, 31, is a former fifth-round pick of the Panthers back in 2008. After five years in Carolina, Barnidge signed a three-year contract with the Browns. He played out that contract before signing four-year, $13.5 million extension that included $5.73 million guaranteed with Cleveland back in 2015.
Barnidge was set to make a base salary of $2.75 million for the 2017 season.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing will free up $2,187,500 of available cap space while creating $1.625 million in dead money.
In 2016, Barnidge appeared in all 16 games and caught 55 passes for 612 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 25 tight end out of 63 qualifying players.