Report: Bengals to match Hawkins offer; Browns sign Trufant
The Browns added a cornerback and might not have added a wide receiver.
Reports from ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Albert Breer both posted on Twitter said that the Bengals intend to match the offer the Browns gave to restricted free agent wide receiver Andrew Hawkins.
NFL Network reported Tuesday night that the Browns signed Hawkins to an offer sheet for four years and $12.2 million with over $5 million guaranteed. The Bengals have five days to match it, according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Hawkins has 86 catches for 995 yards and four touchdowns in his career. He missed eight games last season with an ankle injury and finished with 12 catches for 99 yards.
If the Bengals match the offer, the Browns might be back in play for a slot receiver. The most notable free agents are Julian Edelman from the Patriots and Emmanuel Sanders from the Steelers.
Meanwhile, the agent for Isaiah Trufant, Doug Hendrickson, posted on his Twitter account that Trufant will join the Browns. Trufant played as a reserve defensive back for the Jets the past three seasons and played under Browns coach Mike Pettine. He primarily played on special teams.
Trufant would be the third free agent to join the Browns along with safety Donte Whitner and linebacker Karlos Dansby. Joe Haden posted a picture of he and teammates Jabaal Sheard and Josh Gordon with Whitner and Dansby.
— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) March 12, 2014
Whitner and Dansby are expected to replace inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (Colts) and safety T.J. Ward (Broncos).
The Browns have not confirmed any of the signings because it is believed the contracts haven’t been finalized.