September 22, 2014

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Browns get visit from tight end

The Browns’ quest to beef up the tight end position continued Thursday with a visit from Kellen Davis.

Kellen Davis

Davis (6-foot-7, 267 pounds) was cut by the Bears last week after five seasons. He has the desired size and speed — along with some touchdown production — but has struggled with inconsistency. A league source confirmed his visit to Cleveland, which was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Davis started 15 games in each of the last two seasons, but the Bears weren’t pleased with his production and cut him after signing Martellus Bennett earlier this month.

Davis caught 19 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. He had eight drops in 44 targets, according to Pro Football Focus.

Davis, 27, had 18 catches for 206 yards and five touchdowns in 2011. He was a fifth-round pick out of Michigan State in 2008 and has 47 career catches for 529 yards, an 11.3 average and 11 touchdowns.

The Bears hoped Davis could help quarterback Jay Cutler in the passing attack, signing Davis to a two-year, $6 million deal before last season. But after a disappointing year, they signed Bennett on the first day of free agency to take his place. Davis was due a base salary of $2.4 million in 2013.

“Kellen had a rough year,” Bears general manager Phil Emery said after the season. “The Kellen Davis that I saw caught the ball in the end zone the previous year. High percentage of his total career catches, which were not that high, were end zone catches, reliable in that area. Has shown the ability, just for whatever reason hasn’t been able to be consistent. I know that is an area he is going to work on and he is capable of improving and I know he wants to improve.”

The Steelers, Saints and Bengals are also reportedly interested in signing Davis.

New Browns coach Rob Chudzinski and coordinator Norv Turner like to feature the tight end prominently in their offenses, but the roster presents a challenge.

Jordan Cameron returns for his third season and Gary Barnidge was signed from Carolina last week. Cameron has 26 catches in two seasons, and Barnidge 18 in four.

Benjamin Watson started the last three seasons, but he was allowed to become a free agent and signed with New Orleans this week. So the Browns want options and depth.

Kellen is the second tight end named Davis to draw the Browns’ interest. They are reportedly also interested in Fred Davis, who’s spent his career with the Redskins. He is coming off a torn Achilles tendon and the Redskins want to keep him.

The Browns remain short-handed at cornerback, but another possibility left the market. Captain Munnerlyn announced he’s returning to Carolina.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.