The Cleveland Browns bringing back Rashard Higgins is a low risk plan

Cleveland Browns Rashard Higgins (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Rashard Higgins (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns will be bringing back embattled wide receiver Rashard Higgins on a one year deal for the 2020 season.

Rashard Higgins is returning to Cleveland for the 2020 season. He reportedly turned down more money to play for the Cleveland Browns because of his friendship with Baker Mayfield. The two had a fantastic 2018 campaign that saw Higgins step up as a slot guy that year, and put up over 500 yards as the team’s fourth option behind Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and Antoni Callaway.

With Higgins coming back, he’s undoubtedly the leading candidate for the third receiver gig, which is not only just the slot guy but often times the first one to move outside in the case of an injury. It’s a role that recently drafted Donovan Peoples-Jones, and last years wideouts Damion Ratley and KhaDarel Hodge will try to earn. More than likely one of those names could be cut and moved to the practice squad before training camp ends if Higgins impresses.

Should Higgins bounce back and earn the trust of new coach Kevin Stefanski, then Higgins could regain his old form. A year going around and around with former head coach Freddie Kitchens not only damaged Higgins’ career but his reputation as well. Now, on a veterans minimum deal, Higgins is looking to show not just the team but the league that he’s better than his contract says.

Higgins might be, he might not be. He is, after all, a player who only has one moderately good year to his name so far and that was in a system with Callaway, who is not only gone from the Browns but from the league proper.

If Higgins can find that same kind of consistency then the minimum deal was worth it. It has to be wondered though, why would Higgins re-sign at all if he had better offers? The Browns literally gave him a deal that said “ok, guess you’ll do”. The team still has cap space and the only logical theory that holds up is that Higgins isn’t beloved by the staff but the team doesn’t see many viable options for the money they want to spend.

Which means that money might be earmarked for someone else. Should Higgins pan out, he’ll earn a bigger payday in 2021 and maybe remain with the Browns. If he doesn’t pan out, it’s a one year deal and it’s the bear minimum the team could offer. So either way, there’s no risk here.

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