Report: Browns give offer sheet to Bengals’ Hawkins

Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (16) celebrates during the game against the Baltimore Ravens in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 34-17.

Mark Zerof/Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns are apparently on a spending spree on Day 1 of the NFL free agency period.

According to Albert Breer of NFL Network and since confirmed by multiple outlets, Cleveland has offered Cincinnati wide receiver Andrew Hawkins a four-year deal. Hawkins is a restricted free agent. Cincinnati tendered him a one-year offer at the lowest level of $1.431 million, reserving the Bengals’ right to match any offer Hawkins receives from another team.

Hawkins (5-7, 180) has caught 86 passes for 995 yards and four touchdowns. His most productive season was in 2012 when he caught 51 passes for 533 yards and all four of his touchdowns. That included a 50-yard touchdown catch-and-run against the Browns in a 34-27 Cincinnati win at Paul Brown Stadium.

He missed the first half of last season after suffering a severe ankle injury in training camp. He returned to play the final eight games of the season, catching 12 passes for 199 yards.

Hawkins played at Toledo in college and then spent two seasons in the CFL, helping Montreal win consecutive Grey Cup championships in 2009-10. Despite his size, Hawkins is not a protypical slot receiver. He has been more effective playing on the outside in space.

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