The Cleveland Browns are in search of finding a wide receiver in free agency that will improve their team in the future. Who might they try and sign?
Who was the last big-time wide receiver the Cleveland Browns have had? Odell Beckham Jr. might immediately come to mind. The team did once have a young and talented Josh Gordan on their team too, but he ended up only having one monster year back in 2013. That season, Gordon caught 87 passes for a staggering 1,646 yards to go along with nine touchdowns. The rest of his career seems to be one big flop because of all his personal issues off the field.
Jarvis Landry came to the Browns in 2018. After Baker Mayfield was drafted by the team that same year as their future quarterback there was much anticipated as the seasons ahead seemed very promising. Along the way, Cleveland has had other wide receivers that have seemed like a good fit with the team and their quarterback.
Rashard Higgins comes to mind. He’s been with them since 2016. Some may forget that because they associate his success with his time with Mayfield. He had a halfway decent year in 2017. He caught 27 passes including two touchdowns.
Coming into this season, the talk of training camp was Donovan Peoples-Jones and how he would be the long-term solution to the Browns wide receiver woes. He certainly has shown improvements in his second season. He doubled his receptions from a year ago and currently has 31 catches for 559 yards and three touchdowns.
With the abrupt departure of Beckham Jr. from the team back in October, the wide receiver position for the team has been very strained with various injuries hitting the receiving group since. Landry has been a shell of himself for much of the season. With a variety of moving parts possible this upcoming offseason, one shouldn’t be surprised if the wide receiver group looks very different a year from now.
Landry becomes a free agent in 2023 and he’s due more than $16.5 million next season. Would the team be open to trading him? Or might they simply release him? They’d only lose out on $1.5 million if they cut him before June 1, 2022.
Higgins is a free agent this offseason. Cleveland paid him $2.3 million this year. He already tried his hand in the free agency market this past offseason before landing back with the Browns. With the regression of Mayfield and Higgins having a very poor season and not putting up bigger numbers statistically (he only caught 24 passes for 275 yards and one touchdown), he more than likely will try to find a new home with a different NFL squad.
With this part of the team being in trouble, much has been said about the Browns focusing on this part of the squad for the upcoming NFL draft. Ohio State has a few wide receivers that are coming out of school early to get into the NFL Draft that has much of the local fan base excited. Both Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are likely to be drafted this offseason. Would adding one of these dynamic receivers to a Cleveland team be a good move?
Regardless of who or how many receivers the team drafts, I believe they’ll have to look at the free-agent wide receivers out there. Several very high-profile receivers will be free agents like Davante Adams. Antonio Brown made news again down in Tampa Bay this past weekend with his former team the Buccaneers.
He made a spectacle of himself and left an actual game this past weekend when he took off his uniform during the contest along the sidelines. The former wide receiving star that used to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers has had a series of on and off-field issues. He’s a free agent. Would he be worth the headache for the Browns?
Let’s look at a few other wide receivers that might be a good move for Cleveland and give them more talent in an area of the team that has been very mediocre for several years.