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2014 NFL Free Agency: Cleveland Browns Have Plethora Of Options At WR

The Cleveland Browns are quickly getting national attention for a reason other than being the laughing stock of the NFL. There were big changes made in the front office as Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi were fired. The Browns have some early offseason momentum with the key front office changes and now it is time to accelerate the rebuilding plan.

The Browns have a few options to make serious upgrades to their offense. Unfortunately, there are no big name quarterbacks on the free agent market. However, there are several key fits at wide receiver. The Browns will likely trade Greg Little and Davone Bess for draft picks, so there will be room for veterans on the roster. The Browns have over $40 million in cap space which likely means they will be big spenders in the offseason. The top priorities are re-signing Alex Mack and T.J. Ward. If the Browns re-sign both players along with everyone else waiting for a deal, they will still have plenty of cap space to make one or two significant moves via free agency.

Eric Decker will likely receive an offer from the Browns. He could receive a 6 year $52 million offer. Decker was a huge part of the Broncos offense last year as he caught 87 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Eric Decker may be signed by the Browns and excel in the West Coast offense in Cleveland. (January 18, 2014 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)
Eric Decker may be signed by the Browns and excel in the West Coast offense in Cleveland. (January 18, 2014 – Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

Another intriguing free agent wide receiver is Anquan Boldin. He has been a true cog wheel for years, recently with the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. If the Browns offer him a deal, it could be 6 years- $61 million. Boldin is currently in contract talks with the 49ers and might remain with the team.

Anquan Boldin has been sensational. The Browns would be wise to consider signing him. (January 18, 2014 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
Anquan Boldin has been sensational. The Browns would be wise to consider signing him. (January 18, 2014 – Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

Golden Tate could receive a huge offer as well. The Browns may have to overpay to land him due to the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl. An offer of 6 years $64 million may be reasonable.

The Browns may have to overpay to land Golden Tate but he is worth it. (February 1, 2014 - Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America)
The Browns may have to overpay to land Golden Tate but he is worth it. (February 1, 2014 – Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America)

 

Jeremy Maclin is very dependable. He has been a big time receiver in Philadelphia and the Browns would be wise to offer him a deal on the first day of free agency. Maclin could command an offer of 6 years- $60 million.

Santana Moss, 34-years-old, could be an interesting option for the Browns if he does not retire. Moss’ production has been down the last three years as he has gained less than 500 receiving yards for three years but he could be a nice bounce back pickup. The Browns could be more cautious with him and offer a 2 year-$12 million deal. The very most Moss may get is a 2 year- $14 million from the Browns but not much more than that due to down production.

Hakeem Nicks is a solid option. He caught 856 receiving yards last year but did not score any touchdowns. In his 5 year career, Nicks has 4,622 receiving yards. He will also likely receive a multi-year offer from the Browns, possibly 6 years $58 million.

Darrius Heyward- Bey, Devin Hester, Ted Ginn Jr. and Jerricho Cotchery are also options.

Some of these hypothetical offers may seem illogical, even outrageous. However, these receivers are worth lots of money due to their stats and accomplishments. Also, the Browns are usually not a prime destination for free agent wide receivers. Since Cleveland is usually ignored by receivers during free agency, offering deals worth between $8-12 million will be necessary. In fact, teams in general will have to offer these kinds of deals simply due to the market value of these receivers.

Browns fans are likely growing impatient by the continuity of losing. The last thing the front office needs is a bunch of Browns fans wearing Steelers and Ravens jerseys. As loyal as the fans are, they could eventually turn renegade if things do not change.

Adding one of these receivers and having a solid draft will change the perception of the Browns . They will be regarded as a contender for the playoffs instead of a bad joke.


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