August 23, 2014

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Report: Browns to sign ex-Bears WR Earl Bennett

The Browns’ quest to beef up their receiving corps reportedly will begin with Earl Bennett.

Jake Jones of ABC Fox MT Sports in Helena, Montana, reported Bennett will sign with the Browns. Bennett, 27, was a third-round pick of the Bears in 2008 and spent six years in Chicago before being released in March.

Bennett (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) has made 29 starts in 78 games, catching 185 passes for 2,277 yards, a 12.3 average and 12 touchdowns. In three starts and 15 games last season, he caught 32 passes for 243 yards (7.6 average) and four touchdowns.

The Browns were criticized for not taking a receiver in the NFL Draft last week, because they could be without All-Pro Josh Gordon. According to an ESPN report, Gordon could face an indefinite suspension for failing a marijuana test.

Receiver Nate Burleson, a free agent from Detroit who’s a candidate to start, recently had surgery to fix a broken bone in his arm and will be out until training camp.