The writing was on the wall when the Browns drafted four receivers.
It transferred to paper Monday.
The Browns terminated the contract of receiver Brian Hartline after one season with his hometown team. Hartline is from Canton and played for Ohio State. He spent the first six years of his career with the Miami Dolphins.
Hartline, 29, is the latest veteran to get caught up in the youth movement instituted by Cleveland’s new regime. Linebacker Karlos Dansby, safety Donte Whitner and defensive end Randy Starks were cut earlier in the offseason.
Hartline ended his only season with the Browns on injured reserve after breaking a collarbone. He played 12 games with four starts, catching 46 passes for 523 yards and two touchdowns.
After a slow start — 12 catches and no touchdowns through seven games — he turned it on with two touchdowns against Arizona and at least six catches in his last four games.
He had eight catches for 107 yards in a win over San Francisco before suffering the broken collarbone in the third quarter.
The Browns deemed him expendable after making wideout their No. 1 priority in the draft.
Baylor’s Corey Coleman was their first-round pick at No. 15, followed by Auburn’s Ricardo Louis in the fourth round and UCLA’s Jordan Payton and Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins in the fifth round.
Andrew Hawkins, 30, remains as the senior member at the position.
Coach Hue Jackson hinted at the release of Hartline last week during organized team activities.
“Hartline is a pro,” Jackson said. “He’s been through it. He’s a success. He knows how to play, and there’s something to that.
“At the same time, he knows each and every day he’s got to go out and compete because everybody’s trying to win a spot. To me, that’s what it’s truly all about. It’s about competing and it’s about earning a right to be part of this football team.”