The Browns reached an agreement with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver and restricted free agent Andrew Hawkins on an offer sheet for a four-year contract, a league source told the Beacon Journal tonight, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.
Once Hawkins signs the offer sheet, the Bengals will have the right to match it within five days because he’s a restricted free agent. If the Bengals choose to not match the offer, Hawkins would leave Cincinnati without the Browns being required to give any compensation in return.
The Browns need a slot receiver to replace Davone Bess, who was cut last week, and Hawkins fits the description.
The 5-foot-7, 180-pound Hawkins played in just eight games last year because a high-ankle sprain kept him sidelined for half of the season. He tallied 12 catches for 199 yards. In 2012, he compiled 51 catches for 533 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games. During his first season with the Bengals in 2011, he had 23 catches for 263 yards.
Hawkins, 28, went undrafted after his career at the University of Toledo ended in 2007. He then spent time in the Canadian Football League before catching on in the NFL with the Bengals.