Akins visited the Browns on Friday and apparently liked what he saw and heard as the team was able to work out a deal. Terms were not immediately available.
The Browns had been looking for depth at tight end to back up David Njoku. They also have Harrison Bryant on their roster.
Akins is the first offensive free agent signed by the Browns, who have been focused on revamping their defense this offseason.
The 30-year-old Akins spent five seasons with the Texans, who drafted him in the third round in 2018. Akins started 26 games in Houston and had 151 catches for 1,755 yards and eight touchdowns.
Akins matched a career-high with 37 receptions for 495 yards and five TDs last season.