Now that the Browns are free from Davone Bess and his awful season, they appear poised to try and move on via free agency. According to Albert Breer, the team is interested in both Julian Edelman and Andrew Hawkins.
The Browns are hot after slot receivers (with Bess gone). Julian Edelman is one possibility. Poaching Andrew Hawkins from Cincy is another.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 11, 2014
Both of these players are somewhat desirable for the Browns. Edelman is 27 years old and had his most productive season in 2013. He would most assuredly be an upgrade to Bess, but he also isn’t ever likely to be a top flight NFL receiver. Edelman has made about $3 million in his entire NFL career and looks to cash in, but the Browns should only be interested if the contract is modest. If the Browns can get him for a similar deal to the extension that Bess got, I think it might be a reasonable gamble. Bess got three years $11.5 million and $5.75 million guaranteed.1 NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots have made Edelman a three-year contract offer.
Andrew Hawkins is a much more modest free agent than Edelman even. Hawkins was tendered by the Bengals for $1.4 million meaning if the Browns offer him a deal for more than that, the Bengals will have the right to match. Hawkins is a smaller player, but pretty quick. He’s far from a proven commodity, so it’s hard to imagine the Browns throwing a lot of money his direction. There’s no guarantee that he’d be a substantial contributor that the Browns need. Hawkins played only eight games in 2013 and has 86 career receptions for 995 yards.
[Related: Let Free Agency Commence!]