The Cleveland Browns are finalizing a one-year deal with TE Jesse James, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports, tweeting the news moments ago.
James recently visited with the team making this contact no surprise. A fifth round pick of the Steelers in 2015, James carved out a solid all-around role with the team. In his four seasons with the team, he started 36 gamed and caught 120 passes for 1189 yards and nine touchdowns. He should’ve reached ten touchdowns but had a highly controversial score waved off in a loss to the New England Patriots in 2017. Steelers’ fans know James caught that ball. And now so do Browns’ fans.
After his rookie year in Pittsburgh expired, James cashed in with a four-year deal in Detroit, a bizarre contract and awkward fit with the Lions selecting T.J. Hockenson in the first round just weeks later. James spent just two years in Detroit, 2019 and 2020, catching just 30 total passes over that span. He spent 2021 as a reserve in Chicago, catching just seven passes.
Now, he’ll slot behind David Njoku and Harrison Bryant in Cleveland. James is the second ex-Steeler to sign with the Browns today, joining OT Joe Haeg, who also reportedly inked a one-year deal.
The Steelers’ tight end room this year consists of Pat Freiermuth, Zach Gentry, and Connor Heyward, a sixth round rookie who impressed this summer and grabbed the third-string spot. Former Cincinnati Bengal Justin Rigg, a big blocker, was signed to the Steelers’ practice squad.