The Cincinnati Bengals have until Tuesday to make a decision on Andrew Hawkins‘ offer sheet that he signed with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns structured that offer sheet in a way that could make the Bengals think otherwise about matching it but could they have another thought in mind as they make their decision? Could free agent wide receiver Julian Edelman play a role in what the Bengals decide to do? Here’s the thinking:
The Bengals may believe, like others do, that the Browns back up plan to Hawkins in Edelman. While Edelman may cost more the Browns decided to go after Hawkins first, or over Edelman totally. While it is possible that the Browns could sign both it is not the most likely of scenarios. That scenario is that the Browns have a contract in mind with Edelman, and may have already shared that with his agent, if they don’t sign Hawkins. Edelman’s camp continues to try to beat that contract while waiting for Tuesday to pass. This allows Edelman to seek out a bigger contract while knowing what options lay out there for him.
What if the Bengals think that Edelman is a better player, as many/most do? Could they decide not to match Hawkins deal so as to keep the Browns from signing the better player? Obviously that will not be the most important part of the decision, how they will use Hawkins, the cap, etc will be, but it could play an important role. The Bengals have used Hawkins as a bit player for most of his career which gives an idea of what they think of him. Edelman on the other hand was the top receiver for the New England Patriots last year may be seen as much more then a bit player. If the Bengals were making the choice for themselves they would most likely choose Edelman. Wouldn’t it then make sense that if they thought they could help choose for their division and in state rival they would choose the opposite in Hawkins?
Just a thought. How do you see the two receivers inter-connected? Who would you prefer? Do you think both would be good fits in different roles?