Cleveland Browns sign former Leatherneck tight end J.R. Niklos
Courtesy: Jason Kaufman  
Release: Thursday 06/29/2007
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Courtesy: Western Illinois University
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J.R. Niklos scores the final touchdown of the 2006 World Bowl. (Dirk...

MACOMB, Ill. - Former Western Illinois tight end J.R. Niklos has signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns, becoming the 10th former Leatherneck currently in the NFL.

Niklos, a 6-foot-2, 229-pound fullback, has played the last three seasons with the Frankfurt Galaxy of the NFL Europa league. Niklos went to training camp with Kansas City in 2006 and Oakland in 2005. He originally entered the league in 2002 as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Seattle Seahawks, and also spent time with the St. Louis Rams.

A native of Worthington, Ohio, Niklos was at Western Illinois from 1998-2001, after starting his college career at Ohio State. The two-time all-America and three-time all-Gateway Conference selection registered 1,235 yards, the second-highest total by a Leatherneck tight end in school history. His 80 receptions and his 15.4 yards-per-catch average both currently rank 10th overall in the school’s career record book.

Niklos is the second former Leatherneck to sign a free agent contract this summer, joining wide receiver Marco Thomas (New York Giants). Eight others are also on current NFL rosters: David Bowens (New York Jets), Rodney Harrison (New England Patriots), Edgerton Hartwell (Cincinnati Bengals), Frisman Jackson (New York Jets), Williams James (Philadelphia), Mike Scifres (San Diego Chargers), Rich Seubert (New York Giants) and Aaron Stecker (New Orleans Saints).
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