Browns Dream Free Agent Target is Officially Off the Market

The Cleveland Browns had their eyes on a potential star wideout in free agency. He is no longer on the market.

Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

As NFL free agency is set to begin in a few weeks, we are starting to get a better idea of who will be on the market. Teams will spend the next couple of weeks trying to prevent their key players from hitting free agency. That is what the Cincinnati Bengals just did with their star receiver, Tee Higgins.

This move keeps the 25-year-old wideout in Cincinnati for at least another year. Higgins will make $21.8 million for next season, the leaguewide franchise tag amount for wide receivers.

As no-brainer of a move this was for the Bengals, it unfortunately removes a dream target for the Cleveland Browns in free agency.

Browns' Dream WR Target No Longer a Free Agent

One of the most glaring needs for the Browns in the offseason is a wide receiver. Cleveland needs more offensive threats outside of Amari Cooper and David Njoku, and slotting Higgins opposite of Cooper would have taken the Browns' offense to the next level.

Plus, Deshaun Watson had endorsed the move earlier in the winter, by openly recruiting Higgins to Cleveland. Now, Higgins will not have the chance to test the market and potentially join his fellow Clemson Tiger.

This weakens the wide receiver market in free agency in general. Higgins was likely going to be the most sought-after wideout on the market with Mike Evans.

Now, the Browns can set their eyes on the likes of Evans, Michael Pittman Jr, Calvin Ridley, or Marquise Brown. However, Cleveland is in a difficult cap situation to do so. They are over the cap by $7 million entering the offseason and will need to be bold to create enough space to add to the roster in free agency.

Despite being one of the surprise teams in 2023, the Cleveland Browns aren't taken seriously for next season. FanDuel Sportsbook currently has them as a very long shot (+2000) to win the AFC. If you disagree, head over to FanDuel and take advantage of their sign-up offer of $150 in bonus bets after you make a winning wager of $5.

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