Hamilton Journal News

Ulrich

- (Akron) Beacon Journal

Rashard Higgins reiterated Friday he hopes to continue walking the red carpet in Cleveland, where the Browns wide receiver nicknamed “Hollywood” is a fan favorite and trusted target of quarterbac­k Baker Mayfield.

Higgins is scheduled to become an unrestrict­ed free agent on March 17.

Asked about his contract situation Dec. 10 in a Zoom session with Browns beat writers, Higgins said, “I would love to be here.” He strengthen­ed his stance Friday during a radio interview with “The Next Level” on ESPN Cleveland WKNR (850-AM).

“Don’t give up on me. I never gave up on y’all,” Higgins said when “The Next Level” co-host Emmett Golden asked him what he wanted to tell Browns fans about his future. “Tell [general manager] Andrew [Berry] to send the papers, and I’m signing wherever I’ve got to sign. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

The Browns are allowed to negotiate with their impending

Higgins

free agents anytime. Other teams may do so beginning March 15, two days before deals can be signed with the official start of free agency.

Higgins, 26, said he hasn’t received a contract offer yet.

“We want to see when we can get this contract and stuff done,” Higgins said. “Obviously, if it’s not with the Browns — we want it to be with the Browns — but it’s up in the air right now. We haven’t got no contracts from the guys yet. So everything is just [up] in the air right now.”

A 2016 fifth-round draft pick, Higgins is the third-longest tenured member of the Browns. He helped them compensate for the loss of star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament on Oct. 25 and finish 12-6, including 1-1 in the playoffs.

He had 37 catches on 52 targets for a career-high 599 yards and four touchdowns in 13 regular-season games, six of which he started. He added seven catches for 116 yards in the postseason.

Higgins went through free agency last offseason, too. He appeared to be on his way out of town until the Browns reached an agreement with him on a one-year, $910,000 contract in late April, about six weeks after he hit the open market. At the time, Berry had been the GM for about three months, but he was the club’s vice president

 ?? AP ?? Rashard Higgins (82) says he hopes to continue walking the red carpet in Cleveland, where the Browns wide receiver nicknamed “Hollywood” is a fan favorite. Higgins is scheduled to become an unrestrict­ed free agent on March 17.
AP Rashard Higgins (82) says he hopes to continue walking the red carpet in Cleveland, where the Browns wide receiver nicknamed “Hollywood” is a fan favorite. Higgins is scheduled to become an unrestrict­ed free agent on March 17.

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