The Cleveland Browns signed free agent wide receiver David Nelson to a one-year contract on Monday, the team announced on its official website. Nelson, entering his fourth year in the NFL, has been on the cusp of breaking out with the Buffalo Bills in recent seasons.
Now, he'll try to do the same with the Browns, who don't have the strongest group of wide receivers. Cleveland just saw veteran Mohamed Massaquoi depart in free agency, which leaves Greg Little as the team's top receiver, with Travis Benjamin and Josh Gordon competing behind him.
Little caught 53 passes for 647 yards with four touchdowns in 2012. Josh Gordon, the team's pick in the supplemental draft, ended up with 805 yards off 50 receptions, with five touchdowns. Gordon could go either way at this point, but last season was certainly promising as he hopes to emerge as one of the NFL's most prolific deep threats.
Nelson, on the other hand, had just 31 yards last season, but he also only played in one game before going down with an injury. Before that, he played in all 16 games for the Bills in 2011, with 658 yards and five touchdowns off 61 total receptions.
In short, Nelson should be right in the thick of things when it comes to the Browns' wide receivers. As an undrafted product out of Florida, he has a whole lot to prove, especially in a young offense in seemingly constant transition. But if he can produce and build on his 2011 numbers, he should be able to find a spot among the top three of Cleveland's receivers.