Bengals decline to match Browns’ offer for Andrew Hawkins

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Andrew Hawkins is set to become the Browns’ No. 2 receiver, as the Bengals have decided not to match Cleveland’s offer.

Hawkins, a restricted free agent, agreed to a four-year offer sheet with the Browns at the start of free agency.

At first, the Bengals were expected to exercise their right to match the offer and keep Hawkins. But once the Bengals saw the way the contract was structured, they decided Hawkins wasn’t worth the investment. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Bengals officially informed Hawkins today that they will not be matching his offer.

The total value of the contract is $13.6 million, but the deal is front-loaded, and Hawkins makes $10.8 million in the first two seasons. That was the aspect of it the Bengals didn’t like.

So now Hawkins will head to Cleveland, where he joins one of the best receivers in the league, Josh Gordon. The Browns are putting together some good young talent. Now they need a quarterback.

61 responses to “Bengals decline to match Browns’ offer for Andrew Hawkins

  1. Great addition by Browns while taking away talent from Bengals. Browns steal from Brown.

  2. He’s not going to be the #2 receiver. He will man the slot the way Bess was supposed to last year. Look for #2 WR in the draft in either Watkins or in the 2nd.

  3. And after pick #4, he’ll be the 3rd receiver…

    Hawkins will be a slot possession receiver, running slant routes fearlessly over the middle on 3rd and 7, moving the chains. Then if he can burn it for some YAC, that will be gravy. He is Greg Little’s replacement.

  4. I like Hawkins, but you don’t pay WR#2 money for a special teamer/WR#4. Good luck to you, Baby Hawk.

  5. Gordon, Hawkins, Cameron, Sammy Watkins with pick #4!

    Draft a QB with pick #26.

    Go Browns!!!

  6. Anyone who has watched this guy’s speed knows he’s virtually uncoverable 1-on-1, and with Gordon and Cameron taking away the best cover men, Hawkins could run wild. Cincy had no idea what to do with his skill set, so this will be interesting.

  7. Wow, doesn’t take much to make a Browns fan excited… I guess they could run the single wing offense and snap the ball directly to him, that way they won’t need a competent QB – which they currently do not posess.

  8. that now puts the browns at about 110 million cap number….with another 15 million in dead space….plus they have to sign their rookies still that they will draft…could get interesting.

  9. Replacements: Sanu, Dane Sanzenbacher and Gresham and Tyler Eifert…. Also Bernard with screens and the passing game… We love Baby Hawk but the Bengals are NOT worried…LOL OH yeah….our last 5 drafts have netted A’s…..See you all next season to see if all this FA signings will net you wins and upward tick…

  10. I don’t quite get the hype around this guy, but I do know for sure that he will not be our #2 receiver. I’ve heard rumors that he’ll be returning punts, but Benjamin was doing a good job at returns before he got injured.

  11. This is why America is great!
    This guy was a prospect no one wanted then came in 2nd on Michael Irvins TV show (when he should have won but Michael picked the guy who played/built like him) Then played in Canada and here he is making $13 million.

    Not a Tebow hater but he should take note, you need to earn your job. Pay your dues and you will make it, not fake it.

    Thumbs up for America!

  12. The Browns are not done yet, they’re just scratching the surface! and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that if Watkins isn’t taken at #4 then you can bet your @ss that there will be a quality wideout taken between PICKS 35 & 102….GO BROWNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I’m glad we didn’t match. He is good in space, that is all. We would be over paying him for what we use him for. Good no signing for once. Use the $$ for Green and Burfict deals.

  14. Interesting that the Browns pull off a restricted free agent signing, yet their restricted free agent Mack, just sits and waits…

  15. The Browns stealing a guy from a division rival by being smart enough to structure a deal that they can’t match? Do we have a GM that actually knows what he is doing?

  16. Bengals fan,

    Dis on the Browns qb situation all you want. Truth is Hoyer is every bit as good as Dalton. Not sure what that says for Hoyer but its true.

  17. They paid too much money for Baby Hawk. We will miss him though!

    Don’t worry about Andy Dalton. He got exponentially better last week when they cut Kyle Cook.

  18. Andrew Hawkins would make noise on a team with great receiving depth like Denver or New Orleans… but… with defensively controllable Marvin Jones and limited Mohammed Sanu playing with him…. Hawkins could be well covered since ONLY A.J. Green demands extra attention.

    12 catches in 8 games is a non-factor player.
    9 of those 12 catches happened in three games.

  19. Sorry to see you leave, Baby Hawk. Best of luck on the shores of Swamp Erie. Now if only you could learn to throw yourself the ball…

  20. Bengals made the right decision – His production thus far doesn’t warrant anything close to 10.8mil for the next 2 seasons.

  21. Good signing and better strategy on structuring the deal so the Bengals couldn’t match. Maybe we’ll see the Bengals in the 2nd round of the playoffs next year. Oh, sorry. Too soon?

  22. The great thing about any sport is that you never know, but it certainly looks to me like the AFC North is in decline in all regards. The one decent team, the Bengals, seem to be losing guys left and right, while the Ravens and Steelers simply get older and the Browns, well, are the Browns, no matter who is in the uniform.

  23. Are Bengals fans still trying to make themselves feel better by comparing themselves to Cleveland? Last I checked, you haven’t won anything in 24 years. Funny that you never compare yourselves to the other two teams in the division. Wonder why. Laugh all you want about Lake Erie. Have you been on the Ohio River lately?

  24. He’s a little piece but even the Great Wall in China is made up of little pieces. For too long, the Browns drafted of signed “for today.” (ie-Drafting Couch before any of the foundation was built. Signing over-the-hill FA’s just to sign someone.) If we can keep our pro-bowlers, fill holes through FA, and draft key “skills players” through the draft, we should make some strides in the right direction.

    I would love to see the Browns in at least one SB before I pass. But, realistically, I think the Browns are still a couple of years away. In Ray (Farmer) I trust.

  25. The Bengals could earn a first round bye, and still find a way to fail to make the second round. Cincinnati Lindsay Lohans. Black out on Sunday, get arrested on Monday.

  26. Browns didn’t pay any more than the Bengals were willing to pay over 4 years. Just front-loaded the 1st 2 years. Hawkins will be a major bargain come years 3 & 4, incredible strategy on the structuring of this deal!

    Watkins, Hawkins, Flash Gordon & Cameron could be scary!

  27. Andy Dalton is the best QB in the league right now. That doesn’t mean anything with only one receiver, no line, and no coaches around him though. As usual, Mike Brown is asleep during free agency.

  28. Andy Dalton is the best QB in the league…

    in Cincinnati and who knows how long that will last!

    The Bungles are going backwards and their QB hasn’t proven he can win anything other than a regular season game.

    Not a winning formula for taking the next step.

  29. Severly overpaying for an avg at best player. Way to waste your cap space on avg players. Dansby and Tate are good signings, assuming Tate stays healthy, which is a big if, the rest are a waste of money, yes including Whitner. Avg player, past his prime, and way overpaid

  30. “The Browns are putting together some good young talent”

    Young? Sorry but 28 is not young for a NFL receiver. Hes older than Desean Jackson.

  31. Good player, but not worth that kind of cash. Dangerous in space and good top end speed. Had limited roll in Bengals offense when you have 3 first Rounders and a 2nd round stud to throw to. Green, Gresham, Eifert, and Gio. Eifert will be in the slot this year.

  32. Supposedly Ray Farmer loves Marcus Mariota so them not taking a QB and taking Watkins wouldn’t upset me one bit Gordon Watkins and Cameron all in the same offense sign me up. Especially now that Weeden isn’t throwing fastballs in Cleveland helps too

  33. 1) when you dont win a lot the only way to attract free agents is to overpay

    2) we have more cap room left than most of you think

    3) a qb is needed and will be addresses but do not discount hoyer, who sat behind BRADY (3 rings) and learned how to play the position…besides with his short stint last year he showed he can lead a team

    4) as long as the bengals are quarterbacked by dalton they will always be irrelevant

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