The Cleveland Browns agreed to terms on a one-year deal with beloved WR, Rashard Higgins. Higgins has had himself an interesting four years in the NFL. From being one of Baker Mayfield’s most reliable targets for the 2018 run, all the way until he couldn’t get playing time last year in Freddie Kitchens’s scheme. Now, with this new prove it one year contract, the journey could get even more interesting. Regardless of his production on the field in 2020 here are a few ways that this signing makes sense for the Browns, and how Rashard Higgins brings value to this team.
Providing Depth to the WR Room
Before the signing of Rashard Higgins on Tuesday, the Browns WR room consisted of:
- Odell Beckham Jr.
- Jarvis Landry
- Khadarel Hodge
- Damion Ratley
- Taywan Taylor
- Jo Jo Natson
- J’Mon Moore
- D.J. Montgomery
- Donovan Peoples-Jones*
While the top two on the depth chart (OBJ, Jarvis) will provide stability while healthy, the room needed a reliable third or fourth option that has NFL experience and experience with Baker Mayfield. The Higgins signing does just that. We know that both Jarvis and Odell had off-season surgeries, so this signing will also allow the team to go into 2020 with a WR room with more depth.
Chemistry with Baker Mayfield
I truly believe this is what has kept Higgins around with both the past regiment and the new front office headed by General Manager Andrew Berry. The chemistry between the two started in 2018 after Baker Mayfield was drafted. While Hue Jackson didn’t let Baker work with the first team in practice, it allowed Baker and Rashard to come together with the second-team offense. After Baker took over the reins, the two finished 2018 on a tear which saw Higgins put up his best career year with 572 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was a staple in the offense as Baker Mayfield went on to break the rookie TD record
“Me and Baker and the timing that we got, it’s unbelievable to have something like that with another guy…’Rashard Higgins on his chemistry with QB Baker Mayfield in Sept. 2018
Competition, Competition, Competition
For me, the biggest value the signing of Rashard Higgins brings is the competition in the WR room. With the addition of Donovan Peoples-Jones in the draft, there will be an open competition in the WR room for that 3rd and 4th WR spot on the depth chart.
Peoples-Jones was one of the most sought after prospects in the nation coming out of high school, and some say he under-performed while at Michigan. I would attribute some of that to terrible quarterback play, but for a 5-star prospect, he didn’t produce as many thought he would and that’s the reason he was available in the 6th-round. Both Higgins and Peoples-Jones will benefit from the competition. To use the old cliche, “iron sharpens iron”, it is perfect for this scenario. They both have something to prove this year and the competition could bring the best out of them.
Regardless of the outcome, we should be glad that Hollywood is back! His commitment to the city of Cleveland has been one of the brightest spots of this off-season, and there is a reason why he is a fan favorite!