NFL: Cleveland Browns sign Miles Austin and Earl Bennett
Cleveland have bolstered their receiving options with the signings of free agents Miles Austin and Earl Bennett.
Last Updated: 18/05/14 12:48pm
The Browns released wideout Greg Little after agreeing deals to lure Austin from Dallas and Chicago's Bennett.
Austin, 29, was the top receiver in the NFC in his breakout season with the Cowboys in 2009 as he hauled in 81 catches for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns.
He topped 1,000 yards receiving again the following season, but Austin has since seen his productivity limited by a succession of niggling injury problems.
Even when Austin was healthy, he was often overlooked as Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo relied heavily on Dez Bryant, tight end Jason Witten and emerging wideout Terrance Williams.
Austin caught only 24 passes last season and failed to find the end zone, but the Browns believe the two-time Pro Bowl star still has plenty to offer.
Bennett has also been signed by the Browns despite a disappointing season with the Bears, and he is likely to provide back-up for Josh Gordon, Austin and fellow new signing Nate Burleson.
Gordon enjoyed a superb 2013 season as he led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646, but he could be facing a lengthy suspension after failing a drugs test for the second time in his professional career.
Reports indicate he could be banned for the entire 2014 campaign, leaving the much-hyped Johnny Manziel without an elite receiver to work with in his debut season.