The Bengals had until midnight Tuesday to match the four-year, $13.6 million offer that the Browns gave wide receiver Andrew Hawkins last week. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bengals aren't going to make Hawkins wait until the witching hour. Schefter reports that the Bengals won't match the offer. "He's a Brown," Schefter wrote.
Hawkins, 28, is a dynamic slot receiver who is known for breaking off big plays. However, he is very small -- 5-foot-7, 180 pounds -- and thus, more prone to injuries. He missed half of last season due to an ankle problem. But if he stays healthy, he fills out a solid trio of receivers available to the Browns' next starting quarterback. Hawkins in the slot with Josh Gordon out wide, and tight end Jordan Cameron down the seam is a lot of speed and athleticism for one defense to cover. I don't think this signing makes Hawkins anything more than a WR3 in fantasy, at the absolute best, but Cleveland's offense definitely looks better on paper than it did just a few weeks ago.
Now, the hardest part: They've got to find someone capable of getting the ball to all of those targets consistently.
I expect the Bengals to look for a wideout in the mid-to-late rounds of the upcoming draft.