5. Rashard Higgins
The Browns aren’t expected to do much on the offensive side of the ball after allocating resources to the unit last offseason, but one move they must make is bringing back Rashard Higgins, who will be a free agent.
I’m not sure how much actual interest there was in Higgins last offseason when he tested the market, but I do know he came back to the Browns on a deal worth around $900,000.
Even when back on the roster, it took a little time for new coach Kevin Stefanski to figure out how important Higgins is to the team, especially to quarterback Baker Mayfield. For the early part of the season, Higgins was stuck behind Khadarel Hodge on the roster, to the confusion of the fan base.
Higgins rewarded the Browns for bringing him back by catching 37 passes for 599 yards (a career high). He averaged 16.2 yards per catch, which was also a career high, in addition to tying a career high for touchdown catches (4).
Most importantly, and what really makes him invaluable, is that he has a rapport with Mayfield. As we saw Freddie Kitchens fail to understand this, this counts for something, so why mess with it?
Higgins will be especially needed with Odell Beckham Jr. expected to miss a good chunk of the season. I expect to see more Donovan Peoples-Jones in 2021 as Cleveland will need to stretch the field. The Browns could also take another receiver at some point in the draft in a quest to find speed.
DPJ was a fifth-round pick who contributed in year one, so those player are there.
Solidify the position by bringing back Higgins, though, it’s likely to be money well spent.