Browns Predicted to Sign Former Pro-Bowler as New No. 1 WR

Getty Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns talks with head coach Kevin Stefanski during the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

It is no secret that the Cleveland Browns are hunting an upgrade at wide receiver this offseason. The only question is which playmaker will general manager Andrew Berry land?

Just days ago the crop of prospective free agent pass catchers was bountiful. However, it thinned significantly when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used the franchise tag to retain Chris Godwin and the Los Angeles Chargers inked Mike Williams to a three-year, $60 million contract. One name that remains available, though, is Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson.

Dan Wilkins of The Score predicted on Thursday, March 10 that Robinson will wind up with the Browns after the NFL free agency period officially opens March 16.

“Robinson is a fascinating free agent. One of the NFL’s most underrated receivers, he’s ultimately been weighed down by some brutal quarterback play over the years,” Wilkins wrote. “The Browns should be the most aggressive here as they desperately need to overhaul the receiver group on an otherwise solid roster.”

Wilkins projected the contract details for Robinson at $66 million over four years, with $36 million in guaranteed salary.

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Robinson Likely to Bounce Back After Down Year With Bears in 2021

Allen Robinson

Getty ImagesChicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson celebrates a win against the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021.

The projected contract offer to Robinson is considerable, especially considering his on-field production in 2021. The wideout caught just 38 passes for 410 yards and 1 TD, all of which represented career lows save for the 2017 season (Robinson’s fourth and final with the Jacksonville Jaguars), during which he appeared in just one game.

Robinson joined the Bears the following year. He amassed nearly 2,400 receiving yards and 13 TD receptions over two seasons between 2019-20 before his disappointing campaign in 2021.

The reasoning behind Cleveland paying Robinson such a healthy sum is three fold:

  1. That he is just 28 years old and can potentially return to the Pro Bowl form he attained once in Jacksonville and approached again recently on two occasions in Chicago.
  2. That there are now limited options in this free agent class with true No. 1 wide receiver potential.
  3. That the Browns’ cupboard at the WR position is already relatively bare and could get worse.

Browns Strapped at WR Position After Jarvis Landry’s Struggles

Jarvis Landry

Getty ImagesWide receiver Jarvis Landry may have played his last snap for the Cleveland Browns.

Odell Beckham Jr. forced his way out of Cleveland midway through last year and wound up winning a Super Bowl ring with the Los Angeles Rams. His good friend and former teammate Jarvis Landry was hurt much of last season and saw his production dip substantially as a result. He put up just 52 catches, gaining 570 yards and scoring 2 TDs. All of those totals represented career lows.

To make matters more complicated, Landry is entering the final year of his contract and represents an onerous salary cap hit of $16.3 million. As a result, there has been considerable speculation as to whether the wide receiver will be back with the Browns in 2022.

Berry was asked to address Landry’s status during an interview at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday, March 1. His answer did not offer much clarity or inspire much confidence in Landry’s return.

“Jarvis, he’s been a productive player for us the past four years, a big part of helping us turn the tide and everything like that,” Berry said. “The next couple weeks are big for us in terms of assessing the entirety of the roster. But Jarvis has been a key veteran for us, a key producer, and we’re really grateful for all that.”

Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report suggested Landry could be part of a trade this offseason, which would serve simultaneously as a way to clear substantial cap space and bring back draft capital in return. The Browns could use the extra money to sign Robinson or to help with the financial burden new contracts for tight end David Njoku and cornerback Denzel Ward will present.

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