The Cleveland Browns need to upgrade the wide receiver room, but they do not need to break in order to do so and have a number of cheap options to explore.
The Cleveland Browns struggled mightily at the wide receiver position in 2021, mainly due to poor quarterback play but also because the room as a whole was not very good. The Browns ranked 27th in receiving yards per game at 212.9 points per game and 30th in receptions at 320.
General manager Andrew Berry will likely target wideouts in both free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft, while also addressing all of the other positions Cleveland needs to upgrade at. As for the receivers, there is no need to spend a fortune on a high-name guy. Now, don’t get me wrong, getting a guy like Davante Adams would be ideal, but he would have quite the expensive price tag.
Are guys like Chris Godwin and Michael Gallup still going to be worth the price of admission after both recently tore their ACLs? Time will tell, but one would assume that if the Browns go after either player, they could get them at a bargain rate coming off injuries.
The good thing for Berry and the Browns is the fact that the wide receiver depth in free agency and the draft are plentiful, so there is going to be a plethora of options they can explore that will be cheaper than going after highly-touted players.
For clarity, I put Chargers wide receiver and soon-to-be free agent Mike Williams in my list of free-agent receivers the Browns should target, but he will likely be a relatively cheap option for the Browns to explore.
Cleveland Browns Cheap Wide Receiver Option No. 4: D.J. Chark
This one will be one that is a wait-and-see approach as D.J. Chark suffered a fractured left ankle back in October, which ended his 2021 campaign. In the four games he has played this season, he caught seven passes on 22 targets for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In the previous three years, he reeled in 140 passes for 1,888 yards and 13 touchdowns. This was with the likes of Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler, Gardner Minshew, Nick Foles, Mike Glennon, Jake Luton, and of course most recently Trevor Lawrence tossing him the rock.
He is only 25 years old and doesn’t turn 26 until September. At 6-foot-4 and 198 pounds, Chark is a big body with big playmaking abilities.
Jacksonville drafted him in the second round of the 2018 draft after LSU, a school that’s known for producing NFL-caliber wide receivers. Even without the injury, the Browns could have potentially signed Chark on a cheaper deal, which would be great for the team.