Too many people think the Cleveland Browns could and should invest in high-priced wide receivers.
The Cleveland Browns need help at receiver this coming year, no one is going to deny that. After what we saw during the 2022 season, the team really only has two realistic receiver options; Donovan Peoples-Jones and Amari Cooper. Cooper is a good number two at this point in his career. He’s not going to take over games, but he can still hurt defenses. Peoples-Jones is, at best, a slot guy or a number three option. Outside of them, the Browns have no real threats to worry about. So a third is needed.
Yet, too many people think the Browns should trade for Deandre Hopkins or Adam Theilen, two high-priced, veteran options who only further complicate a very complicated cap situation for the Browns. While acquiring a veteran may be the way the team goes, it would behoove the team to sign someone to a team-friendly deal, and not trade for a guy who can cost the team $10+ million against the cap.
The team has to restructure some deals, and will likely cut or trade a few surprising names to get under the cap for 2023, and adding someone like Hopkins or Theilen just isn’t the way to go.
The Cleveland Browns should keep an eye on the receiver market after the June 1 cuts
Drafting a receiver is a solid idea, but with the holes at linebacker, defensive tackle, safety, defensive end, the offensive line, and tight end (not to mention the No. 2 quarterback spot), the team may not want to take a receiver with one of the first few picks the teams have.
So what’s the best option to bolster the receiving corp? Wait until June 1 to see who gets cut. A player like Michael Thomas out of New Orleans is likely to be cut unless they can restructure his deal before June 1. If that doesn’t happen, and he isn’t dealt, he’ll likely be a free agent to start the summer.
He’s the kind of guy the team should take a chance on. He’s not going to be a top guy but if he can put up a performance as Cooper did in ’22, then he’d be worth whatever short-term deal the Browns may offer him.