5 Cleveland Browns needing a new contract

Randy Gurzi
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09: Joe Schobert #53 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates his fumble recovery with Derrick Kindred #26 during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09: Joe Schobert #53 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates his fumble recovery with Derrick Kindred #26 during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 23: Rashard Higgins #81 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 23: Rashard Higgins #81 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

3. Rashard Higgins, WR

Next up is a player that almost didn’t remain with the Browns after former head coach Hue Jackson foolishly waived wide receiver Rashard Higgins in 2017. A former fifth-round pick, Higgins moved to the practice squad for just one week before being brought back to the active roster. He wound up playing 15 games that season and had 312 yards on 27 receptions.

Those numbers were respectable, but then Higgins broke out as a third-year pro in 2018. Showing a great connection with quarterback Baker Mayfield, Higgins ended up hauling in 39 receptions for 572 yards and four scores. He accomplished these numbers while starting only one game and missing another three due to injury. Not only that, but Higgins eclipsed all his previous stats while receiving just three more targets in his third season than he did as a sophomore.

Following his strong campaign, Higgins was given a restricted free agent tender by the Browns and is now under contract for just this season. He doesn’t have the same name recognition as Jarvis Landry, but there’s an argument that he’s a more complete receiver and therefore should be out there opposite Odell Beckham, Jr. as the second receiver on the outside.

One of Mayfield’s favorite targets, Higgins had his share of great catches during the 2018 campaign and should continue to develop as a player this year. He’s going to end up getting paid, but Cleveland would be wise to make sure he makes that money in The Land.

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