3 Free agents Cleveland Browns have to re-sign for 2021

Rashard Higgins. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Rashard Higgins. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns free agency
Cleveland Browns free agency. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Rashard Higgins

There’s not a pending free agent that meant more to the Cleveland Browns success last season than wide receiver Rashard Higgins. After mysteriously being absent from the plans in 2019, Higgins sat on the open market for an incredibly long time in 2020.

Eventually, the Browns added him back on a one-year deal for less than $1 million. He proved to be worth much more than that with his best season as a pro.

Higgins, who has had a great rapport with quarterback Baker Mayfield dating back to 2018, recorded 37 receptions on 52 targets with 599 yards. He not only set a personal best with that yardage but tied his own career-high with four touchdowns.

In the playoffs, he continued to perform well, hauling in seven passes for 116 yards. That was an average of 16.6 yards per catch which was slightly above his 16.2 per reception during the regular season.

Once again a free agent, Higgins has made his intention clear — he wants to be in Cleveland. He not only loves the city but he knows that his connection with Mayfield is legit and will only serve to help him get better going forward.

The question is whether or not the Browns feel the same way. There have been some rumors that he could be on the way out as the front office wants to get faster at the position.

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Having said that, Higgins is a player who should be retained. He can make big plays and won’t break the bank either, making him a player they need to retain.