Browns tender Gipson, Robertson, two others

Browns begin free agency by focusing on keeping their own players.

BEREA, Ohio — Some will think the Browns are taking a big gamble.

They started their free agency period by trying to retain their own players by tendering qualifying offers to safety Tashaun Gipson, linebacker Craig Robertson, defensive back Johnson Bademosi and defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen. All four players entered the league as undrafted rookie free agents.

By placing tenders on these restricted free agents, the Browns earn the right to match any offer sheet signed by them with other teams on the open market. If a player has a first- or second-round tender placed upon him, the Browns would be rewarded the commensurate draft pick from the team in the event that team is able to sign away the player.

Multiple reports confirmed that the Browns tendered Gipson and Robertson second-round offers, which would be for $2.356 million. The team didn’t designate what tender they placed on each player in the team’s press release.

Earlier on Monday, the Browns resigned exclusive rights free agent Ryan Seymour.

Gipson became the first undrafted defensive player for the Browns to make to Pro Bowl since LB Mike Johnson in 1991. Despite appearing in just 11 games this year, Gipson finished second in the NFL with a career-high six interceptions. He added 52 tackles, eight passes defensed, one fumble recovery and one defensive score on an interception return.

Robertson has appeared in 46 games with 28 starts and has registered 264 tackles, 10 passes defensed, five interceptions, four sacks, four fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one defensive score. He has added 23 stops on special teams. Last season, Robertson saw action in all 16 games with 11 starts. He finished third on team with a career-high 92 tackles.

Bademosi has led the Browns in special-team tackles in each of his three NFL seasons since joining the Browns as an undrafted free agent.

Kitchen joined the Browns via waivers during final roster cuts after signing with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He has appeared in 40 games with the Browns and has recorded 90 tackles. Last season, he played in 13 games, including the first three starts of his career and totaled a career-high 43 tackles.

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