The Cleveland Browns, like any other sports team, has had their share of players they never should’ve let go of and these are five of theirs.
The Cleveland Browns aren’t unique to this situation. Like every team, when a transition of power happens, certain guys get left behind, and sometimes that’s a problem. Now, four of these players are active and could’ve helped the 2020 Browns team. One of them hasn’t been an active player in nearly 12 years as of press time.
Each of the four active players fills a need on the current iteration of the team and would be welcomed back by (most) fans. They’re all on this list for one reason or another, ones that will be broken down when they come up. The reasoning why they were let go will also be a factor, as sometimes dumb decisions should be called up.
Letting all five of these players go were dumb decisions. There’s no doubt about that. Now, let’s get into it.
Sure Rashard Higgins has his fans, but even they can’t deny that Higgins is a consistent performer. In his time with the Browns, he’s had what, a handful of noteworthy games? Enter Taylor Gabriel. Technically a free agent, though he opted out of the 2020 season, Gabriel spent two years with the Browns under Mike Pettine. He had 621 yards receiving in his rookie year, becoming the second most popular target of then quarterback Brian Hoyer; just behind Andrew Hawkins.
Gabriel posted a 4.40 40-yard-dash coming out of college but went undrafted until the Browns signed him. That was during the Ray Farmer era. The minute Sashi Brown came into town in 2016, however, Gabriel was on his way out. Since then has 1,998 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. Numbers that would’ve been higher if he had been with the Browns over the last three years, especially since he plays so well out of the slot.
There’s always a chance that the Browns pick him up in the offseason on a discount, but nothing will ever erase the decision made by Brown to waive him in the first place.