Higgins, an unrestricted free agent, revved up some speculation for a return in a cryptic tweet he sent out on Tuesday. Higgins tweeted out: “Got something to tell yall ……” with many assuming it was a return to Cleveland.
Higgins hit the open market in March, but has yet to draw any major interest. He was linked to Buffalo, but he still remains without a team after more than a month of free agency.
During the draft, there was speculation of Higgins return to the Browns simply by the way he was tweeting, welcoming new players to Cleveland.
Browns Wants Rashard Higgins Back — at Right Price
Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reported that the Browns met with Higgins representation while at the combine, expressing interest in the former fifth-round pick. However, no numbers were discussed.
The Browns currently have $39.084 million of cap space, and have opted to do a lot of one-year deals with some big contracts on the horizon. Higgins would benefit from another chance to prove himself and possibly hit free agency next year with the chance for a long-term deal in Cleveland or somewhere else.
Higgins was expected to function as the Browns No. 3 wide receiver last season behind Landry and Beckham. However, that role never truly played out and he was routinely out-snapped by Damion Ratley and KhaDarel Hodge down the stretch.
Higgins was injured in the team’s opener, missing multiple weeks with an MCL sprain. He was never able to get on track after that, falling into former head coach Freddie Kitchen’s doghouse after some comments to media members on why he wasn’t active in Week 5. Higgins managed just four catches for 55 yards and one touchdown all of last year.
What might strangely work in the Browns favor is his lack of production last season, which will surely hurt Higgins value on the open market. In the year prior, Higgins had 39 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns — all career highs. He also built a strong rapport with quarterback Baker Mayfield as a security blanket of sorts, with the quarterback speaking up at times about the chemistry he had with Higgins.
Browns Pick up Donovan Peoples-Jones Late in Draft
While Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry will lead the way at wide receiver, the Browns are unproven behind the two stars. Hodge, Taywan Taylor, D.J. Montgomery and recently signed return man/receiver JoJo Natson make up the rest of the depth chart.
Cleveland did add a piece to the wide receiver corps during the draft, picking up former Michigan pass-catcher Donovan Peoples-Jones in the sixth round.
“With Donovan, we got a player that has played outside and inside,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters in a post-draft conference call. “I think there is versatility with this player in terms of where you can play him in the formation. Having return ability and having a history in the return game helps. I do think he has the physical skillset to be a special teamer. There is a lot this kid can do. Then, it is going to be a matter of him showing it to us.”
Peoples-Jones is excited to get his shot in the NFL working alongside Beckham and Landry.
“Personally, I love competition. Personally I rise when the competition rises,” Peoples-Jones said. “Those are two of the best receivers in the NFL. I am so thankful for this opportunity to come to Cleveland. I really can not wait.”