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There’s something about catching more than 70 passes and gaining over 1000 yards for two years straight that makes one a popular fellow.
Add in being from Ohio State University, and popularity in Cleveland goes through the roof.
That’s the situation we’re seeing right now with Brian Hartline, cut Friday by the Miami Dolphins, who are jettisoning wide receivers in a bid to gain some room under the cap. Hartline was due $7.3 million dollars in 2015, apparently too much for a receiver who dropped to 39 catches and 474 yards during his first year in a spread offense in Miami.
But before this year - wow - Hartline had two great seasons for the Dolphins, catching 76 passes for 1,016 yards in 2013 and a nearly identical 74 passes for 1,083 yards in 2012.
That ought to pique some interest.
At this point, there is no real indication that the Browns are interested in Hartline, no leak from “team sources”. Or “league sources”. Or someone in “NFL circles”. Or whatever.
Still, that didn’t stop two veteran sportswriters in Cleveland from writing pieces promoting the GlenOak product as a potential Cleveland Brown. Both Terry Pluto and Pat McManamon offer their takes, Pluto enthusiastic, McManamon less so but open to the idea.
Of course, fan blogs and some local news sites went nuts, with folks from Kansas City, Buffalo, New England, New York all writing articles and someone else saying the Vikings, 49ers, and Cardinals might all be fits. And so on, and so on. Everyone loves Brian.
But at this point, unlike Ted Ginn, we need to emphasize we’ve seen nothing to date that links the Browns to Hartline other than speculation and, in fact, the OBR’s Lane Adkins tells us that “At this point, the Browns have not shown interest in the veteran wide receiver”.
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