Former Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge runs the ball during third-quarter action against the Baltimore Ravens on October 11, 2015 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. File photo by Pete Marovich/UPI | License Photo
Former Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge hopes to resurrect his career after sitting out the 2017 season.
Barnidge told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday that he was "frustrated" by what he perceived as low-ball offers to play last season, claiming teams were unwilling to shell out an equitable salary to a 32-year-old.
"Teams view you like once you're an older guy, 'Oh, you're not worth as much. You can't succeed. You can't do that kind of stuff.' That's how they do it. That's not the truth," said Barnidge. "As I proved when I was 30, 31, I went to the Pro Bowl [in 2015] and put the two best years up in my career because I was given the opportunity to play.
"Teams try to take advantage of the situation. ... My numbers show what I can do."
The Browns released Barnidge last April after selecting Miami (Fla.) tight end David Njoku in the first round (No. 29 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Barnidge, who had a 1,000-yard season with nine touchdowns and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015, said it was purely a financial decision to sit out last season.
Already guaranteed $700,000 by the Browns, Barnidge said he had to decide whether to play for the NFL minimum of $900,000 for a player of his tenure.
"I was trying to weigh, 'Do I go play for a little bit of money or I can sit at home, rest my body, still get paid something and then be ready to go for next year and get another opportunity,'" said Barnidge. "There wasn't a right opportunity for me to play with anybody because everybody was trying to get me for the lowest [price] they can get. It didn't make sense."