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May 15, 2014 - Mike McLain
The Browns announced Thursday the signing of former Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin, which may or might not silence critics of their draft strategy.

General manager Ray Farmer knew entering the draft that star receiver Josh Gordon might be suspended the entire season for a third positive drug test, but he decided against using one of six draft picks on a receiver. The strategy was criticized by many in the media and many fans.

Austin, who gained fame in Dallas as an undrafted player from Monmouth, might help ease the pain of possibly not having Gordon. Austin caught the NFL by storm in 2009, his fourth season, with 81 receptions for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns. He followed that with 69 receptions for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010.

Austin, 29, has struggled to stay on the field since 2010, missing six games in 2011 and five last year. His combined totals the last three seasons are 133 receptions for 1,766 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Hamstring injuries have been a hindrance to Austin. In March the Cowboys announced plans to designate Austin for release.

When healthy, Austin is what coaches look for in a number one receiver -- size (6-2 and 216 pounds) and speed. Considering that Gordon might not be with the team next season, Austin could challenge for a starting role with Greg Little and Nate Burleson.


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