Breaking: Brian Hartline is signing with the Cleveland #Browns.— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) March 9, 2015
Former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline is going home. The Canton, Ohio native and Ohio State alumnus is returning to Ohio to play for the Cleveland Browns. Miami's fourth round draft pick in 2009, Hartline was released on February 27 in a salary cap saving move by the South Florida franchise. The stated goal from Hartline was to join a new team, or return to Miami, before the NFL's free agency period kicked off.
Free agency starts tomorrow at 4pm ET.Hartline had been scheduled to be a $7.35 million hit against the Dolphins' salary cap this year, but the release dropped it to $4.2 million, giving the team $3.15 million back. Along with Hartline, the Dolphins also released wide receiver Brandon Gibson.
Over his six year career, Hartline has caught 298 passes for 4,243 yards and 12 touchdowns. He twice broke the 1,000 yard milestone in a season, reaching a career high 1,083 yards in 2012, then 1,016 yards the following season. Last year, Hartline disappeared from the Miami offense, starting all 16 games, but only catching 39 passes for 474 yards and two touchdowns.
Details of Hartline's new contract have not been disclosed. Several teams had been interested in Hartline, including the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs.