WRs and TEs have been a challenge for Browns Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski

The 2020 roster shows how much turnover has occurred in these positions in the Berry/Stefanski era
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

While the talk and focus has been on the quarterback position going into the fifth year of the Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski era with the Cleveland Browns, a closer look shows that acquiring the right mix of talent at the wide receiver and tight end position has also proven challenging for the Ivy League duo.

A close look at the 2020 roster shows fans that it has been a moving target from Day 1 for Berry and Stefanski to find the right talent at the right price. It is worth noting that some of the talent on the 2020 roster was inherited from the previous regime.

Wide receivers on the 2020 roster included: Odell Beckham Jr., Rashard Higgins, rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Jarvis Landry. Tight end Austin Hooper, acquired through a lucrative free agent deal and David Njoku were also on the 2020 roster.

Where are all of these players now?

Three of the four wide receivers are free agents. They are OBJ, Higgins, and Landry. OBJ, 31, stayed with the Browns until the middle of the 2021 season when he was famously released and quickly signed by the Los Angeles Rams to join the roster that eventually won the Super Bowl.

He was out of football recuperating from a second torn ACL during the 2022 season before signing a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens for 2023. OBJ remains a great talent who has been injured often and logged some of his best catches with the New York Giants in his pre-Browns days.

Higgins, 29, played six seasons with the Browns before signing a one-year deal in 2022 to play with the Carolina Panthers. He has been out of football since the end of the 2022 season and recently announced his retirement. He did not catch a single pass in his year with the Panthers. “Hollywood" Higgins will forever be associated with the touchback call in the 2021 divisional playoff game with the Kansas City Chiefs. That call changed the course of the game and maybe Browns' history.

Jarvis Landry, 31, was released by the Browns in March 2022 and signed with the New Orleans Saints for one season. He has been out of football since the end of the 2022 season. Landry was a fan-favorite in Cleveland affectionately known as "Juice" and could throw and catch the ball well. A premier play against the Dallas Cowboys was when Landry threw a touchdown pass to OBJ.

Austin Hooper was the highly touted free agent siigning in 2020. He signed a four year $44 million contract but remained with the team for only the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

His best season was in 2019 with the Atlanta Falcons. Since leaving the Browns, he spent the 2022 season with the Titans, 2023 with the Raiders, and signed another one-year deal in 2024 to play for the New England Patriots.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, 25, remained a Brown until he was traded during the 2023 season to the Detroit Lions. He created a highlight reel of catches during his Browns tenure with Baker Mayfield including a game-winning touchdown at the end of regulation against the Cincinnati Bengals.

David Njoku is the last man standing on the 2020 Browns roster. He has been a stalwart even during the Austin Hooper tenure which was a bit messy for him publicly. Njoku has proven he can catch balls no matter who the Browns quarterback is.

Perhaps finding stable and consistent wide receiver and tight end talent is not a problem unique to the Browns, Andrew Berry, and Kevin Stefanski. With notable exceptions, it is a league-wide issue.

The Browns have gotten smarter in their selections in recent years, most notably trading with the Dallas Cowboys for Amari Cooper in a win-win in terms of talent received and trade capital expended.

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