Ben Watson, the Cleveland Browns' starting tight end for the past three seasons, signed a three-year deal with the New Orleans Saints on Monday. While the Browns weren't expected to re-sign Watson, this officially means they'll need to find a new starting tight end.
Cleveland was supposed to address this position in free agency because the team isn't ready to turn to unproven Jordan Cameron. The options in free agency are now very limited at tight end.
The Browns were reportedly looking at Redskins free-agent tight end Fred Davis, but nothing has materialized yet. Davis' focus these days is more on a court case than free-agency. Cleveland was also interested in Brandon Myers before he signed with the Giants on Sunday. Another potential target, Dustin Keller, signed with the Dolphins on Friday. The Browns have looked at Kellen Davis, but he has a total of 37 catches the past two seasons. Watson had 37 catches in his worst season for the Browns.
Other than Fred Davis, the rest of the top 10 free-agent tight ends are gone. The remaining tight ends are the likes of Dallas Clark (47 catches last year), David Thomas (11 catches last year) and Kevin Boss (three catches last season).
I'm not sure what the Browns' plan is for the tight end position, but they'll have to act soon. If not, they'll either have to address this position early in the draft or hope Cameron develops faster than last season.