The Cleveland Browns biggest need entering the off-season is at wide receiver. It was one of the biggest positions of weakness during the 2021 season that saw the release of Odell Beckham Jr. in November.
Donovan Peoples-Jones is only receiver who is almost guaranteed to be back in 2022. Anthony Schwartz had an underwhelming rookie campaign but should be given another chance with the Browns in year two. Rashard Higgins is an unrestricted free agent and will not be back. Jarvis Landry is on the books for $16.55 million next season. It is highly unlikely the Browns pay Landry that amount in 2022. They could just to cut him and add $15.1 million in cap space which is the most likely scenario. A contract restructure is also a possibility but less likely. It could be time for both parties to part ways.
The Browns head into the off-season with approximately $36.4 million in cap space. Cutting players such as Landry could take that number near the $60 million mark. There are several free agent options that could help the Browns offense in 2022. Let's take a look at five of those players.
Mike Williams - 6'4" - 220 lbs
2021 stats (LAC): 76 rec - 1,146 yds - 15.1 Y/R - 9 TD
Williams is a big target at 6'4" with exceptional physical abilities. The former 7th overall pick could be a nice outside weapon for Baker Mayfield or whomever starts at QB for Cleveland in 2022. He won't come cheap as he is expected to demand in the $16-$17 million per year range.
Allen Robinson - 6'3" - 211 lbs
2021 stats: 38 rec - 410 yds - 10.8 Y/R - 1 TD
Robinson had some injury issues in 2021 appearing in only 12 games. Another big physical receiver who could help on the outside. He is coming off of his worst season in 2021 but caught 102 passes for 1,250 yds in 2020. The 28-year old will be looking to have a big bounce back season in 2022.
Michael Gallup - 6-1" - 198 lbs
2021 stats: 35 rec - 445 yds - 12.7 Y/R - 2 TD
Gallup appeared in only 9 games with the Cowboys last season due to injury issues. He has played second fiddle to Amari Cooper in Dallas the past few seasons and could be ready to take on a bigger role on a team without a true #1 receiver like Cleveland. He should cost a bit less than Williams or Robinson.
DJ Chark - 6'4" - 198 lbs
2021 stats: 7 rec - 154 yds - 22.0 Y/R - 2 TD
Shark suffered an ankle injury in week 4 that ended his 2021 season with the Jaguars. Another big outside receiver who has shown big potential in the past. The former 2nd round pick is only 25 years old. He made the Pro Bowl in 2019 after posting 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and 8 TD's. A 6'4" receiver with 4.3 speed should be very appealing to Cleveland.
Christian Kirk - 5-11" - 200 lbs
2021 stats: 77 rec - 982 yds - 12.8 Y/R - 5 TD
Should the Browns choose to move on from Jarvis Landry then Kirk could be their replacement in the slot. He is coming off his best season with Arizona posting just under 1,000 yards. Kirk lined up in the slot for close to 80% of his snaps in 2021.
The Browns are expected to add at least one receiver in both free agency and the 2021 N FL Draft. The wide receiver position should see a big overhaul in 2022!
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