NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo is reporting that free agent tight end Gary Barnidge is meeting with the Buffalo Bills today. Barnidge has been in the NFL since 2008 spending five seasons with the Carolina Panthers before signing with the Cleveland Browns in 2013. Barnidge was cut by the Browns last week after they drafted University of Miami tight end David Njoku.
Barnidge and Sean McDermott’s tenures in Carolina overlapped for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Barnidge left Carolina in the 2013 offseason, signing with the Cleveland Browns. He proved to be a late bloomer with his breakout season coming in 2015—his eighth year in the league. That season he reeled in 79 receptions for 1,043 yards, and nine touchdowns. This performance earned him a Pro Bowl selection, a spot on the NFL’s Top 100 Players list, and a contract extension. The Browns extended him with a 3 year/$12 million deal. He fell back to Earth a bit in 2016 but had a year similar to Charles Clay with 55 receptions 612 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Clay had 57 receptions, 552 yards, and 4 touchdowns.
New Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has mentioned, and we have covered, that he will likely use two tight ends frequently. Pairing Barnidge with Charles Clay would provide a formidable tight end duo for Tyrod Taylor to target on the field.