March 10, 2015
Hartline: “Hope I’m a critical part of the offense”
By Fred Greetham
OBR Senior Reporter
BEREA, Ohio—At the onset of free agency, the Browns made official the signing of wide receiver Brian Hartline. Multiple reports said the contract was for two years and approximately $6 million.
Hartline made it clear that he intends on being an integral part of the receiving corps.
“I hope I’m a critical part of the offense and I’m part of the reason why we’ll win from here on out, why we’re going to compete for division titles,” Hartline said in the release announcing his signing. “I want to be a part of the process, I want to be a part of bringing along younger guys, showing them the right way to do things. For me, it’s all about winning. I’m hoping to come to Cleveland, win some football games and be a contender year in and year out.”
Mike Pettine said Hartline is the epitome of what the Browns are looking for.
“Brian is a tough, smart football player with that innate ability to always get open,” Pettine said. “He is not only a good fit for our offense but for our entire football team.
“What impressed me about visiting with him was how passionate he was about playing here,” Pettine said. “He really wanted to be a Cleveland Brown. We are excited to get him on aboard and look forward to seeing him help improve our football team.”
GM Ray Farmer agreed.
“Brian is an excellent teammate,” Farmer said. “He’s a crafty and savvy player with very good hands and is a precision route runner. He can win at all three levels. His size, hands and route running make for a good combination and he is going to help us at the position. We are happy to be able to get him to our team.”
The 28-year old former Ohio State Buckeye made it clear that he is happy to be back in his home state. Despite playing for the Dolphins the past six seasons, Hartline maintained a residence in Columbus.
“Home is Ohio for me, always has been and always will be,” Hartline said. “There’s a lot of ownership when it comes to community off the field and there’s a lot of ownership to the hometown team and I’m proud of being a part of it. I can’t thank the coaches enough for the opportunity to come in and compete. I’m looking forward to it.”
Reports said that Hartline had drawn interest from the Bears, Texans, Patriots, as well as the Browns since being released by the Dolphins in a cost-cutting move. Hartline said that Pettine and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo did a good job of selling him.
“Once I got into the building, saw the facilities, had a chance to sit down and talk with coach Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, it was a really easy conversation,” Hartline said. “Our brains kind of operate in the same way on the offensive side of the ball and we really just hit it off. We were able to spitball ideas and kind of saw things the same way. Things just kind of made sense while sitting in the room.”