The Browns have become a little more secure going into 2003 today, with the announcement from the team that they have signed TE Steve Heiden to a two-year deal. Heiden is a TE who can both catch and block, and joins Mark Campbell, Darnell Sanders, and unsigned restricted free agent Aaron Shea among the players who can play tight end.
Clearly, the signing does not bode particularly well for Shea, who felt at times last year as if he was in his last season with the Browns. Shea was injured for most of the 2002 season.
The Browns obtained Heiden from the Chargers on August 31st in exchange for the team's seventh round draft pick. The Chargers and Browns can also swap picks in the fifth round as part of the deal. Heiden made a number of key plays during the Browns 2002 season, including the recovery of a fumble against Cincinnati that sealed the win over the Bengals.
Heiden can also serve as a potential back-up long-snapper, and could be possible insurance in the event that unrestricted free agent Ryan Kuehl leaves via free agency. Heiden did perform some long-snapping in the past, but did not participate in special teams that way in 2002 with the Browns.
The Browns also officially announced the signings of QB Pat Barnes, DT Adriano Belli, and DE Michael Boireau. Those signings had been reported here on Bernie's Insiders previously, as far back as January 9.
Finally, the Browns announced that they have secured the services of Safety Jason Moore, who was waived and then re-signed by the 49ers in November. Moore was released yesterday as the Niners signed special teams standout Terry Killens. Moore appeared in seven games for the 49ers, making ten tackles, with one assist.
Moore has bounced around the NFL, and has included stints with the 49ers, Dolphins, Bears, and Broncos. Moore was a third-team strong safety with the 49ers, and but saw most of his time on special teams.