It appeared on late Tuesday evening that wide receiver Andrew Hawkins could be on his way to the Cleveland Browns but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be happening. While the Browns signed Hawkins offer sheet on Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Cincinnati Bengals plan on matching the offer and keeping Hawkins where he is for 2014.
Bengals plan to match 4-yr, $12.2M offer sheet that includes $5,3M gtd that Cincinnati RFA WR Andrew Hawkins signed with Cleveland.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014
Keeping Hawkins is a big move for the Bengals, as it means keeping one of their best and fastest rising receivers on roster. A.J. Green is the clear-cut No. 1, but he’s been complimented nicely by Hawkins and the more weapons Andy Dalton has, the better.
He won’t come cheap, but the Bengals clearly value Hawkins a lot and aren’t about to let him walk as a restricted free agent.
Aside from that, they really weren’t about to let one of their best receivers walk to an AFC North rival either, which is likely added incentive to match the Browns offer.