The Cleveland Browns and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins both announced today that the team was releasing the six -year veteran.
Hawkins made the announcement via the website Undisputed:
Browns made an official statement soon after with a quote and head coach Hue Jackson who had a very close relationship with Hawkins from their days in Cincinnati and last season in Cleveland:
Hawkins joined the Browns in 2014 as a free agent signing. His veteran leadership played a big role to the young wide receivers during his time in Cleveland including Travis Benjamin, Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor.
In 39 games over three seasons, he caught 123 catches for 1,424 yards and five touchdowns.
His best season came in 2014 when he started 15 games, caught 63 balls for 824 yards and two touchdowns.
Last season he played in all 16 games (5 starts) and had 33 catches for 324 yards and three touchdowns.
Financially, this saves the Browns 1.8 million dollars but the team already had over 100 million dollars so this wasn’t a cost cutting move.
I think with Hawkins being 30 years old, he’s not a building block moving forward for the organization. Also,
I think Hawkins has a goal of winning a Super Bowl championship which every NFL player should have that goal. He’s not going to reach that in Cleveland, he can elsewhere and I think the organization let him get that chance.
Hawkins will get picked up because he’s a good reliable slot receiver who can help a team win. He was a key part of the Browns offense in 2014 when they won 7 games, the most since 2007.
As for the future of the Browns wide receiver group, it’s very young and very limited in experience.
- Corey Coleman (1 year)
- Ricardo Louis (1 year)
- Rashard Higgins (1 year)
- Jordan Payton (1 year)
- Mario Alford (1 year)
- Rannell Hall (1 year)
- Jordan Leslie (no experience)
- Dennis Parks (no experience)
The lack of experience is why retaining Terrelle Pryor should be a major priority for the organization. Outside of Coleman, these receivers aren’t anything to be excited about.
Even Coleman will have question marks because of his durability. He missed action last year with a broken hand, granted it was a freak injury in practice.
Also, if the Browns do re-sign Pryor, adding receivers should still be a priority, whether it’s through the draft or in free agency. Veteran leadership is a must for a team as young as the Browns and the release of Hawkins left a major void in that leadership role.