There’s no official word from the Cincinnati Bengals, but several reports -- including from ESPN’s Adam Schefter -- say the Bengals plan to match the Cleveland Browns' offer sheet given receiver Andrew Hawkins.
The Bengals must decide if they want to give a four-year deal worth a reported $12.2 million to a guy who might be the team's fourth receiver. That's a significant figure for a player who may be behind A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones. But new Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has gone on record that he loves speed, and Hawkins has speed that can't be taught. Hawkins' abilities are not matched by the other Bengals receivers, which might favor them keeping him.
The Browns deserve credit for making an aggressive move to add a guy with playmaking ability.
It will cost the Bengals, but clearly they value Hawkins’ contributions to their passing game if they match. Cincinnati has five days to make a decision.
What’s next for the Browns if the Bengals match the offer sheet? Julian Edelman of New England makes a lot of sense.
Edelman is close friends with Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer, he went to Kent State, and he is reliable. He stepped in for the departed Wes Walker in 2013 and caught 105 passes for 1,056 yards.