Browns WR KhaDarel Hodge Reacts to Contract Update

Getty Images KhaDarel Hodge of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns will have KhaDarel Hodge back on the field next season after the 26-year-old wide receiver inked his restricted free agent tender on Wednesday.

The tender is worth $2.133 million for the fourth-year wide receiver, who has carved out a role in Cleveland behind Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins. He appeared in nine games, catching 11 passes for 180 yards, battling a nagging hamstring injury that kept him out of a handful of games.

Hodge celebrated the signing on Instagram, posting a photo as he signed the deal.

“Inked,” he wrote. “Work, hunger and god.”

Hodge Supported Rashard Higgins in Offseason

Hodge earned the No. 3 wide receiver role out of camp but eventually saw Higgins surpass him on the depth chart. Higgins stepped up in a larger role after Beckham went down with a torn ACL.

Higgins notched 37 catches for 599 yards with four touchdowns. He also managed 16.2 yards per reception — also a career-high — and was a solid producer in the postseason. He had seven catches for 116 yards in the playoffs.

Higgins re-signed with the Browns this offseason and Hodge advocated for him on social media.

The two will now have to compete with speedy rookie Anthony Schwartz and Donovan Peoples-Jones for spots on the depth chart.

“What attracted us to Anthony is his ability to stretch the field. I think that is something that we felt coming out of last year, especially with (WR) Odell’s (Beckham Jr.) injury, is a dimension that was not quite as strong as when Odell was healthy throughout the year,” general manager Andrew Berry said after drafting Schwartz in April. “Anthony certainly gives us multiple guys with the ability to really stretch the field vertically. The other thing is Anthony I think is actually still very early on in his development curve as a player. He is incredibly smart, really, really smart from a football standpoint. He can play outside, can play inside and has the speed that can stretch deep.”

Odell Beckham Expected to be Ready for Week 1

Getty ImagesBrowns wide receiver Odell Beckham.

The big question in the Browns wide receiver corps is if Beckham will be ready for the start of the year after tearing his ACL. Prior to the injury, Beckham recorded 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns, also adding a rushing score.

Beckham has shared videos of his recovery and journey back via social media, one of the latest coming from fellow pass-catcher Dez Bryant.

While there was much made of the Browns offense surging with Beckham sidelined, quarterback Baker Mayfield is looking forward to connecting with him again.

“I think that took our bye week right in the middle of the season last year to really sit down and do a self-scout and for us to grow,” Mayfield said. “I’ve talked to Odell. He’s very happy with where he is in the rehab process. I’m happy for him. He looks good. He feels good. I’m looking forward to starting where we should.”

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