Cleveland Browns Surprise Move No. 1 – Austin Watkins
There's no doubt that Austin Watkins was the fan favorite for the Cleveland Browns during the 2023 preseason. Not only did he get a crazy number of targets, but he also took advantage of it and led the league (I know, it’s just preseason) in receiving yards.
What really stood out was his tremendous hands. He wasn’t just making tough catches during the game, but he was also catching everything in camp. But at the end of the day, the Browns had too much depth at the position to give him a chance. It also hurt him that he was undersized and couldn’t produce as much on special teams.
Marquise Goodwin and David Bell were the fifth and sixth wide receivers kept on this roster, and we knew if Berry didn’t keep seven it was going to be tough for Watkins. Goodwin has a decent amount of guaranteed money on his contract, and Bell was taken with a third-round draft pick just two seasons ago.
For everyone who is disappointed, don’t worry about Watkins. If by some chance he clears waivers (which is unlikely), there is no doubt his play this preseason won’t at least get him a shot on another roster.
I personally would have picked Watkins over Bell, but that’s why Berry makes the big bucks to make the tough decisions. If it makes you feel better, neither Watkins nor Bell will be seeing the field that often with the receivers the Browns have ahead of them.