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Browns reportedly talking new contract with Rashard Higgins

Wide receiver has stepped up when he has the opportunity, now may be in line for a new deal.

Cleveland Browns v Tennessee Titans Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have reportedly opened the door to a contract extension with wide receiver Rashard Higgins.

That is according to Josina Anderson, a former NFL reporter for ESPN.

If true, it will represent the latest comeback in Higgins’ tenure with the Browns.

A fifth-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, Higgins was waived the following season at the end of training camp before signing with Cleveland’s practice squad. He made it back to the active roster for 15 games in 2017, finishing with 27 receptions for 312 yards and two touchdowns.

It was during the 2018 season that Higgins developed a solid chemistry with then-rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. The two connected for 39 receptions, 572 yards and four touchdowns, including 27 receptions that resulted in a first down.

Higgins appeared ready to build off that solid second season in 2019, but a knee injury in the season opening game against the Tennessee Titans got the season off to a bad start. The injury, combined with his issues with the coaching staff, limited Higgins to just four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown for the season, and he did not catch a pass after the Week 10 game against the Buffalo Bills.

A free agent after last year, it seemed a forgone conclusion that Higgins would sign elsewhere are spending the bulk of the year in then-head coach Freddie Kitchen’s doghouse. But once the Browns moved on from Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey in favor of head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry, Higgins was willing to give it another try and signed a one-year contract for the veteran minimum.

Higgins did not see much playing time prior to Week 7, when wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a season-ending ACL injury, but since then he has been part of a position group that has stepped up on a weekly basis to help the Browns go on a 5-1 run.

During the stretch, Higgins has 20 receptions for 347 yards and a touchdown, which includes a six-reception, 110-yard game against the Cincinnati Bengals and a six-reception, 95-yard game against the Tennessee Titans.

It is a credit to Higgins that he has persevered and taken advantage of the opportunities when they have come up this season. Same for the coaching staff, which has the past remain in the past.

The only real question now is what a potential contract extension would look like, given that the Browns currently have wide receivers Jarvis Landry ($12.5 million) and Beckham ($14.5 million) on the books for next season.