Braxton Miller signing adds wrinkle to Cleveland Browns WR competition
The Cleveland Browns signing of Braxton Miller may prove to be a minor move, but it creates even more intrigue into the wide receiver competition.
The Cleveland Browns have not shied away from adding talent to their roster whenever they get the chance to, and that did not change Wednesday. The Browns announced Wednesday morning they signed wide receiver Braxton Miller, who was recently released by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Miller has played two seasons in the NFL, both with the Houston Texans, and spent the entire 2018 season on the Eagles practice squad. In his two seasons on the field, Miller played 21 games and made 34 receptions for 261 yards and two touchdowns.
It is an intriguing signing for the Browns mostly because of the depth they already have at wide receiver. Even with Antonio Callaway suspended the first four games of the season, Cleveland still has an extremely talented top group with Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and Rashard Higgins.
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Miller is likely to be placed into the competition for the final roster spots on the wide receiver depth chart. During training camp and the preseason, the competition for the final roster spots has been extremely competitive, and it could go many different directions with who makes the team.
Being signed with just two weeks left in the preseason does not give Miller much time to make an impact with the Browns to make himself a serious contender in the competition. Even during his time with the Eagles this preseason, Miller has not made many plays, catching two passes for 13 yards.
With how much competition the Browns already have at wide receiver, Miller could be a move to build more depth at the group before the regular season. But if he can show the ability to move around the field, he could increase his chances of making the roster.
Although he has not done it often in the NFL, in fact hardly ever, Miller has experience being used as a running back. During his time at Ohio State, Miller showed great elusiveness that made him difficult to tackle. Since that was four seasons ago, Miller is likely not as dynamic of a runner anymore. But if he can show the potential of being used as a wide receiver while still being able to make plays carrying the football, his versatility could boost his chances.
The Browns are also still searching for their returner for 2019, especially with Dontrell Hilliard missing time with a hamstring injury. D’Ernest Johnson is currently the top returner for the Browns, but does not seem to have much competition behind him. Miller has only returned three kicks and four punts in his career, but could insert himself into the competition if he remains an elusive runner with the ball in his hands.
Miller’s signing will likely prove to be a small depth move as the Browns finish off the preseason. But if he can become a versatile player on the offense and make plays as a returner, he could make the wide receiver competition even tougher.