Cleveland made a major investment in the receiver position during this year’s draft, taking Corey Coleman in round one to go along with Ricardo Louis, Seth DeValve, Jordan Payton and Rashard Higgins in the middle rounds of the draft.
Hartline, 29, was in the final year of his two-year, $6 million contract that included a $1.5 million signing bonus and set to make a base salary of $3 million for the 2016 season.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing Hartline will free up $3 million in available cap space while creating $750,000 in dead money.
In 2015, Hartline appeared in 12 games for the Browns and recorded 46 receptions for 523 yards receiving and two touchdowns. His season, unfortunately, came to an end after he sustained a broken collarbone in December and was subsequently placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Pro Football Focus has Hartline rated as the No. 59 receiver out of 121 qualifying players.