Browns, Headlines

Browns release Andrew Hawkins

Andrew Hawkins Browns Steelers
Brian Kunst/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

A little less than one year after keeping Andrew Hawkins over Taylor Gabriel, the Cleveland Browns have decided to part ways with the veteran receiver. The team announced early Monday that it had terminated his contract.

Unlike most offseason roster moves, this one comes with a ton of quotes from Sashi Brown, Hue Jackson and Hawkins himself.

“Andrew was a great asset to the organization in his three seasons with our team,” said Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown. “He was an outstanding example to our young players both on and off the field. The well-intended work he did in the Cleveland community was greatly appreciated and the respect he earned throughout our league for never being afraid to responsibly create an educated dialogue around a societal issue is commendable. I’m not sure where Andrew’s next stop will be but his history shows that whatever he sets his mind to accomplish, success is sure to follow.”

“It’s tough to say goodbye to men like Hawk, that have done everything you’ve asked of them and gone above and beyond when it comes to leadership,” said Head Coach Hue Jackson. “Hawk was a rock for us last season. He kept our locker room together and led by example as he gave everything he had on the field. Our young players are going to be better players and better people because of the time they spent with Andrew Hawkins.”

“I’m so grateful for my time in Cleveland, I will never forget my first tryout as a Brown back in 2008, praying for the opportunity to wear the Orange and Brown on Sundays,” said Hawkins. “Thank you to Jimmy and Dee Haslam, who have been both incredible owners and role models throughout my time here and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity they granted me. Thank you to Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson, who have supported me both on and off the field and will continue to be mentors to me for years to come. Thank you to my incredible teammates for allowing me the opportunity to be one of your captains, it was an honor to battle with you, week in and week out. And lastly, thank you Cleveland Browns fans, you are one of the best fanbases in all of the world, and the support you’ve given my family and I the last three seasons will not soon be forgotten. Your support and your passion is what drives this city and I can’t wait to one day celebrate a Cleveland Browns Championship with all of you. No matter where I play next, I will always be part of the Browns family.”

After missing a chunk of time in 2015 due to a bevy of concussion, Hawkins came back a season later and finished tied for second on the team with three touchdown catches in 2016. He logged 33 receptions for 324 yards, while appearing in all 16 games. In six NFL seasons between the Bengals (2011-13) and Browns (2014-16), Hawkins has appeared in 74 games and caught 209 passes for 2,419 yards with nine touchdowns. He joined the Browns as a restricted free agent in 2014 and led the team in receptions and receiving yards that season. He appeared in 39 games with the Browns and recorded 123 receptions for 1,424 yards with five touchdowns.

Hawkins was signed as a free agent during the Ray Farmer/Mike Pettine era and managed to stay aboard the Browns despite front office turnover1, an NFL Draft that featured four wide receivers being selected, and the emergence of Terrelle Pryor as a legit NFL weapon. Easily one of the best characters in the Browns locker room, it appears the 30-year-old fell victim to the numbers game on a team looking to build from their 1-15 season. Hawkins was due $1.8 million (entirely base salary), and was to be a free agent in 2018. This move comes without anything in the way of dead cap money for the team.

  1. He had history with Hue Jackson in Cincinnati. []

  • BenRM

    Hawk is a great dude.

  • Harv

    Textbook example of how you leave a team in the post newsprint farewell ad era. Every agent should show this to his clients and say: like this, both in what’s included and what’s omitted.

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the Hawkins signing or retention last off-season. But so what, that’s a full-grown adult right there.

  • tigersbrowns2

    a small 30 year-old , 3rd string , possession receiver on a rebuilding team in dire need of young play-makers … i liked Hawkins , but this was the right move.


  • tigersbrowns2

    … bet they wish they had kept Gabriel.

  • jpftribe

    Excellent comment Harv, completely agree.

  • RGB

    That video hid did with his son when he got signed was fabulous.

  • Chris

    What a hilarious protest of the No Fun League…

  • Jaker

    That statement, he “Gets It”… Some players never do, but that’s a way you become a fan favorite. Much like Coco Crisp when he got traded to Boston, or Phil Dawson.

  • Jaker

    my first thought as well, since last year I thought he’d get cut and TG would be the slot guy… But guys like Gabriel grow on trees and are always available after the draft. We’ll get one that doesn’t have drop problems, or isn’t tiny, or has concussion history…

  • Garry_Owen

    Only to the extent that they also wish they had a guy like Matt Ryan.

  • Garry_Owen

    Yes! This was my favorite Hawkins moment.

  • tigersbrowns2

    yes sir … nice route & Kessler was right on the money.

  • paulbip

    I remember Gabriel getting hit in the head with the ball more than a few times when he was a brown.

  • BenRM

    Exactly – like Jaker said, guys like Gabriel grow on trees. This is evident by the number of short, shifty receivers the Browns have had over the years. Gabriel was good because he had the league MVP throwing to him, and Jones and Sanu drawing most of the coverage.

  • BenRM

    And Cleveland sports radio somehow turning letting go of Hawkins into some sort of indictment of the team…stay classy.

  • mgbode

    My favorite moment were the video clips with his kid. Hilarious.

  • mgbode

    Yeah, here’s the best response for anyone who has issues here:
    If you swap Hawkins and Gabriel last year, then who ends up having the bigger season?

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