CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns are in the midst of making decisions regarding their players approaching free agency, including fan-favorite wide receiver Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins, and according to general manager Andrew Berry, the team is hopeful to have him back.
While Berry wouldn’t get into the specifics of the conversations being had surrounding the decision to re-sign Higgins, he made one thing very clear.
“Suffice it to say, we’d like to have Rashard back. He played a key role for us this past year and we have a really positive history with him,” Berry said.
On Friday, Higgins joined 850 ESPN Cleveland where he said that he wanted to remain with the Browns and expressed his desire for the team to re-sign him.
“Don’t give up on me. I never gave up on y'all,” Higgins said on The Next Level Show. “Tell Andrew to send the papers, and I'm signing wherever I've got to sign.”
While it’s a good sign that both parties have the same shared interest for the 2021 season, Berry knows that Higgins has earned his right to negotiate his contract, which is the overarching factor when it comes to the decision.
“Free agency can be difficult and obviously he’s really earned the right to make the decision that’s most appropriate for him,” Berry said.
Higgins said on 850 ESPN Cleveland that his agents are waiting to hear about contract negotiations and that "we want to see when we can get this contract done."
"We want it to be with the Browns but it's up in the air right now," Higgins said on Friday.
Last season, Higgins recorded 599 yards in 37 catches with four touchdowns, getting back to the end zone chemistry he had established with quarterback Baker Mayfield in 2018.
Before the start of the 2020 season, Higgins had agreed to a one-year deal worth $910,000 dollars. Higgins, wanting to stay in Cleveland, turned down more money from other teams.
As Berry insinuated Wednesday, Higgins has earned his right to ask for more money—but it is yet to be seen if the Browns and Higgins will be able to agree on a price.
Still, it bodes well for Higgins that Berry and the team are beginning to have these conversations and that the hope heading into free agency is to work out a contract and re-sign “Hollywood.”
”We’ll maintain consistently good communication with him and his reps and we’ll see where it goes,” Berry said.
The Browns have exactly two weeks to think about re-signing him before he hits the market officially when the 2021 NFL free-agency period begins on March 17 at 4 p.m.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.