Cleveland Browns change No. 2: Upgrade in wide receivers
For the last few seasons, at least on paper, the Browns wide receiving group that included Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Rashard Higgins was considered by many to be one of the best in the NFL. That, unfortunately, hasn’t been the case as it’s played out on the field. This season was particularly poor for the group.
OBJ forced his way off the team a couple of months ago. As for the others, they have all struggled. Landry currently has caught 46 passes for 495 yards and one touchdown. It will be his worst season in his eight NFL seasons.
Peoples-Jones was supposed to have an explosive second season. It hasn’t been bad but certainly not great. He has 31 receptions for 559 yards and three scores. Will that improvement continue into the next season?
The longest-tenured member of the Browns wide receiver crew, Rashard Higgins has had a down campaign as well. He had the best season of his career a year ago by gaining 599 yards and scoring four touchdowns. This year though, he’s returned to only catching 24 passes for 275 yards. He’s a free agent this offseason and may not be back.
With Higgins likely looking again to leave town and Landry’s expensive contract ($16.5 million) being the elephant in the room, there will likely be some changes in this group. For example, If the Browns release or trade Landry before June 1st, they’d only be out $1.5 million.
There are several very enticing picks potentially in the draft this year, that might catch the organization’s eye. The local products from Ohio State, including Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, will be there for drafting. Many free-agent wide receivers might be swayed to coming to Cleveland.
There are the expensive free agents like Chris Godwin from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that might look for a change. Then there are cheaper options such as Anthony Lazard from the Green Bay Packers that might make a move.