The Cleveland Browns were hoping to steal wide receiver Andrew Hawkins away from the Cincinnati Bengals, but that does not look like it is going to happen at this time.
According to reports, the Bengals are currently planning to match the four-year, $12.2 million offer sheet that the Browns agreed with him on yesterday afternoon. Nothing has been finalized yet, but it’s looking like the Bengals are leaning heavily towards matching the offer sheet.
Bengals plan to match 4-yr, $12.2M offer sheet that includes $5,3M gtd that Cincinnati RFA WR Andrew Hawkins signed with Cleveland.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014
It will be interesting to see what the Browns decide to do next following this piece of news. Could they turn their attention to Julian Edelman or Emmanuel Sanders? They are very vocal about their desire to make a splash when it comes to a wide receiver, so it would make sense that they could look at one of those two guys.
Hawkins played in eight games last season with the Bengals, catching just 12 passes for 199 yards and no touchdowns. He brings a lot of speed to the table and the Bengals believe that he has a bright future with the team.
The Browns certainly seemed to believe that Hawkins had the ability to become something special with the playing time, and unfortunately the Bengals agree with them.
Overall, this is a bit of a surprise considering the depth that the Bengals have at the wide receiver position. On the other hand, the Bengals would rather carry too many talented wide receivers than allow their division rival to have him. Expect to hear a more definite answer on whether or not the Bengals will indeed match the offer at some point in the next 24 hours.