The Cleveland Browns made a big move for Amari Cooper last offseason but Tyreek Hill was another wide receiver interested in landing with the AFC North squad.
Hill was doing an autograph signing on Saturday when a Browns fan approached in a Deshaun Watson jersey. That triggered some telling comments from Hill, who was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins last offseason.
“They should’ve paid me, I tried to come to Cleveland,” Hill said, per the MoreForYouCleveland Twitter account. “I tried but they didn’t want me”
Now, the conversation was happening in passing, so perhaps Hill is exaggerating his interest in the Browns. And the Pro Bowl pass-catcher was ultimately traded for a haul of five draft picks, which included a first-rounder and a second-round pick. After giving up three first-round picks for quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Browns couldn’t have matched that price.
On top of that, Hill landed a massive four-year extension worth $120 million — including $72.2 million guaranteed — shortly after being acquired by the Dolphins.
The idea of Hill on the Browns is enticing. He had an outstanding first year with the Dolphins, notching 119 catches for 1,710 yards and seven touchdowns. That was after three Pro Bowl seasons in Kansas City.
Browns Open About Love of Speed at WR
The Browns missed some depth at wide receiver last season and also had a need for speed that just wasn’t available. Hill — who is known for his blazing speed — would have been an elite option. However, the Browns addressed their speed needs this offseason by trading for New York Jets receiver Elijah Moore and also signing veteran Marquise Goodwin.
While the Browns haven’t exactly been known for having the speediest wide receiver corps in the league, general manager Andrew Berry admitted during the NFL annual meetings that he has a love for quick pass-catchers.
“Despite maybe how it’s looked at times, I love speed,” Berry said, per the team’s official website. “We love speed, and there’s probably no general manager or head coach that says they want to be slow on the perimeter necessarily, but when you have an opportunity to add a good player who can really stress the defense with his ability to run, that’s an opportunity that we’re always going to look to take advantage of.”
He also hinted that the Browns may not be done adding wide receivers.
“I don’t think I ever feel that any unit is ever complete, honestly,” Berry said of the wideout crew, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “I think we have a number of good players on that side of the ball that still have to come together. I think we have a nice mix of skillsets with our perimeter group, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try to add guys to that side of the ball.”
Browns Got Great Deal for Amari Cooper
While the Browns couldn’t afford Hill, they did get a solid No. 1 option in Cooper, who shined in his first year in Cleveland despite a shaky quarterback situation. Cooper caught 78 passes for 1,160 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns last season.
The Browns gave up just a fifth-round pick and swapped 2022 sixth-round picks with the Dallas Cowboys for Cooper, who led a restructured receiver room that said goodbye to veterans Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.
Cooper played through an injury for a good part of the season and should be even more productive this coming year with more help around him and Watson having six games and a full offseason under his belt.