Veteran Presence: Cleveland Browns Sign Wide Receiver Bobby Engram

Samuel IngroAnalyst IJuly 8, 2010

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 14: Bobby Engram #84 of the Seattle Seahawks looks to score a touchdown against Jason Craft #31 of the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 14, 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Seahawks beat the Rams 23-20. (Photo by: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

In a surprise announcement Thursday evening, the Cleveland Browns acquired the veteran receiver presence that many fans were calling for. While it wasn't exactly the target they were expecting, it finally came with the signing of free agent Bobby Engram.

A graduate of Penn State, Engram's coach and idol Joe Paterno taught him the ropes, and he quickly became a college standout. Engram entered the 1996 draft and was selected at No. 52 overall in the second round by the Chicago Bears.

He played five seasons in Chicago before leaving via free agency and winding up with the Seattle Seahawks. The majority of Engram's career was played under Mike Holmgren, the current Browns president. He had his biggest season in Seattle three years ago, racking up 94 receptions and 1,147 yards just three seasons ago.

Since then, Engram was released after an injury plagued 2008 and found himself on the bench of the Kansas City Chiefs. On a dismal, Matt Cassell led offense, he brought down just five receptions and 61 yards.

Entering free agency again, Engram now finds himself the oldest member of a very young Cleveland receiving core. This time he isn't being brought in to use his hands, he's being brought in for his mind and experience. He'll be the steady guidance that the Browns' young receivers will look to this offseason, but it remains to be seen if he has enough left in the tank to knock a young receiver off the active roster.