Explore sports news

7 min read

Will the Browns Look to Bring Rashard Higgins Back?

The Browns have two pretty big free agents that were drafted during Andrew Berry’s first tour with the Browns. While Joe Schobert is a polarizing player that causes arguments among Browns fans, Rashard Higgins has become a beloved figure among them. Most fans begged for him to get playing time last year. When he scored his first touchdown of the year, Twitter erupted with excitement. Higgins is a fan favorite, but does this front office want him back.

Higgins 2018 Season

At the outset of the 2018 season, Rashard was hanging by a thread after a practice squad stint the previous year. He came in at the bottom of the depth chart with not a lot of fanfare or expectations after a mostly quiet first two years in the NFL. It also did not help that he was part of the 1-31 Sashi Brown era. Fans were desperately trying to move on from with John Dorsey now the head man. Then something happened in training camp that started to change the tune on Higgins and his potential for the season.

As part of the second wave of receivers, Higgins was in prime position to work with number one pick Baker Mayfield, who was the backup to Tyrod Taylor. Rumblings began to surface that Baker and Higgins seemed to have great chemistry on that second. Higgins was having his best camp ever as a Cleveland Brown. Not only would Higgins break camp as part of the team’s wide receiver room. A move to rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield in week three of the NFL season would spark Higgins’s best NFL season and a bunch of love from the Cleveland faithful. 

Browns Rashard Higgins

Bright Future Ahead

With Baker at the helm, Higgins ended the year with 39 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns. While most would look at those numbers and see a pedestrian season, those catches fueled drives at crucial times for a young offense on the rise. After a mini breakout campaign, it looked as though Higgins was poised for bigger things in 2019 as Baker’s favorite target.

Higgins 2019 Season

The 2019 offseason brought in Odell Beckham Jr. to the receiving unit to play alongside friend and 2018 prized pickup Jarvis Landry. For Higgins, this would mean fighting for a spot as the team’s third receiver with the added star power. To earn his spot, Higgins would have to fight the speedy but enigmatic Antonio Callaway, among other young players. The door would open even more when Callaway received a four-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. Higgins won the number three wideout job by the end of training camp without much of a challenge. Higgins’s chance at a big season was still on the horizon. But like everything else in a season full of promise, things went sideways.

The Nightmare

For Higgins, the 2019 season quickly became a nightmare. All the promise showed from 2018, gone in an instant. Higgins had only three targets in the first game of the season against the Titans. Those three targets were matched only one other time the rest of the way. On top of minimal targets, Higgins hit the injury list with a knee injury missing five games. The strange part is that rumors flew that Higgins was healthy enough to play for at least two weeks already. Head coach, Freddie Kitchens’s explanation, gave no solace as he left it at the coaching staff felt he need more time.

Higgins finally was activated for the Seattle game but had no targets or catches. Later, rumors would surface. He refused to enter the Seattle game, but neither Higgins or Kitchens would elaborate. The season would end as it started for Higgins as he finished the year with four receptions and one touchdown on the season.

Free Agency

The Browns and Higgins now have to decide where to go from here. After a season of turmoil under now-former head coach Freddie Kitchens, do both parties call it a mulligan and work out a deal? Does this new front office like Higgins more because they had a large hand in drafting him? Does Higgins have the confidence that he will have a chance to prove himself if he stays? All these questions need answering, and that’s before even getting into the Seattle situation or the money.

After last season Higgins is not likely to get any big-money offers on the free-agent market. The most likely scenario is a one year prove-it deal with a team then go for the long term option. That is where a front office and coaching staff he may have more trust in becomes an advantage if the Browns can present him with a plan to use him effectively in 2020. That could sell him to prove it in Cleveland. The Browns’ new brain trust only does this if they think the 2018 version of Higgins is what they are getting. While some convincing might need to be done Higgins best option may be sticking with the devil he knows to profit in the end.

Best offer: One year $5 million with incentives

Follow me on Twitter for more great content @WeirdJBronavich.

Discuss this and everything to do with sports at the Overtime Heroics forums!

Be sure to check out our partners at Repp Sports! They offer the first-ever crowd-sourced, no carb, no sugar, energy drink called RAZE, and much more! Use the link above or add the promo code OTH1 at checkout to get 30% off your order!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest sports news, exclusive stories, and updates. Stay Up-to-Date!