CLEVELAND — The Browns have already been active in free agency on the defensive side of the ball, but on offense, one of their priorities seemed to be more about retention. That desire appears to have become a reality.
According to multiple media reports, Cleveland has agreed to a contract with wide receiver Rashard Higgins. ESPN's Jake Trotter says the deal is for one year and worth $2.38 million, fully guaranteed.
Higgins, nicknamed "Hollywood," played a major role in the Browns' 11-5 campaign in 2020. The 25-year-old former fifth-round draft pick caught 37 passes for 599 yards and four touchdowns (both career-highs), and particularly stepped up after star Odell Beckham Jr. went down with a torn ACL. The production was particularly sweet for Higgins, who grabbed just four receptions in 2019 after somehow falling out of favor with then-head coach Freddie Kitchens.
Though a free agent, Higgins was vocal about his desire to return to Cleveland. He said as much last month in a radio interview with ESPN 850 WKNR, asking fans to tell general manager Andrew Berry to get the details worked out.
"Don't give up on me; I never gave up on y'all," Higgins told "Next Level" co-hosts Je'Rod Cherry and Emmett Golden. "Tell Andrew to send the papers and I'm signing wherever I've got to sign."
While Berry was less certain (at least publicly) about the situation, he did make it clear he and the front office wanted Higgins back in the fold.
"Obviously, he played a key role for us this past year and we have a really positive history with him," Berry told reporters two weeks ago. "But look, free agency can be difficult and obviously he's really earned the right to make the decision that's most appropriate for him."
Higgins made just $910,000 last season on a previous one-year contract. According to Spotrac, his newest deal would still leave the Browns with just over $13 million in salary cap space, even with the recent signings of safety John Johnson III and defensive end Takkarist McKinley.
Higgins himself seemed to confirm the agreement on Twitter, telling teammate Baker Mayfield, "Let's run it back !!!'
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