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Cleveland Browns' 2023 free agency: 5 potential wide receiver targets

The Cleveland Browns figure to be one of the most aggressive wide receiver suitors as NFL free agency approaches.

CLEVELAND — Monday, March 13 marks the start of the legal tampering period in the NFL, in which teams are permitted to negotiate with prospective free agents.

With the Cleveland Browns likely to be one of the top suitors in the wide receiver market, here's a look at five players at the position they could target in the week ahead.

Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts

The Browns' offense is in desperate need of speed and Parris Campbell has plenty of that. While the Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Ohio State product isn't necessarily a true deep threat, his playmaking ability and versatility -- he played running back in high school -- would be a welcome addition in Cleveland.

Spotrac currently projects the 25-year-old wideout to receive a one-year, $2.5 million deal. At that price, he'd be more than worth a flier for the Browns in their attempt to surround Deshaun Watson with more weapons.

D.J. Chark, Detroit Lions

A free agent a year ago, D.J. Chark was considered a target for Cleveland before he opted to sign a one-year contract with the Detroit Lions. After catching 30 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games with the Lions, the 26-year-old LSU product is once again set to hit the open market -- and the Browns figure to once again be interested.

While his production has dipped since his Pro Bowl season with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019, the 6-foot-4 Chark could provide size that Cleveland's receiving corps currently lacks. With Spotrac projecting Chark to receive a three-year, $28.75 million deal, he may be out of the Browns' price range, but would be an intriguing target for Cleveland should he be willing to sign another one-year deal.

Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs

Mecole Hardman wasn't super productive during his four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he's a capable deep threat -- as evidenced by the 20.7 yards per reception he averaged during his rookie season in 2019. The Browns wouldn't likely be willing to pay the four-year, $41.5 million deal that Spotrac currently projects for Hardman, but a cheaper deal could help Cleveland add some much-needed speed to its offense.

Darius Slayton, New York Giants

When Darius Slayton became available on the trade market last season, the Browns were believed to be one of his top suitors. While the New York Giants opted to hold onto the Auburn product, he'll now hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent.

It wouldn't be a surprise to see Cleveland once again show interest, as Slayton -- who ranked sixth in the NFL last season with 15.7 yards per reception -- is a viable deep threat. He also could prove to be one of the better values in this year's class, with Spotrac projecting him to receive a two-year, $7 million deal.

Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots

Jakobi Meyers might not be the speedster that the other players on this list are, but all things considered, he could be the top wide receiver in this year's free-agent class. With the versatility to play in the slot or on the outside, it would be tough to argue that adding Meyers wouldn't make the Browns' wide receiving corps better.

The question, then, becomes about price, with Spotrac projecting the North Carolina State product to receive a four-year, $50 million contract. That price would likely prove to be too rich for the Browns, but Meyers' market -- and how it affects the other receivers in this class -- is worth monitoring.

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