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Potential Browns free agent target has groin repair surgery

Mecole Hardman is seen as a potential low risk, high reward free agent receiver

NFL: AFC Championship-Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Speculation, reports, analysis and excitement, the standard NFL offseason.

The offseason is also full of major and minor surgeries as players look to get themselves healthy for the following season. For the Cleveland Browns, outside of the minor Pro Bowl games injury to DE Myles Garrett, no new procedures seem to be in the offing for the team this year.

A variety of other players are going through theirs as soon as possible to be ready for 2023. Unfortunately for Brock Purdy, swelling in his arm is delaying his elbow procedure but Mecole Hardman went under the knife this week after his Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl a few weeks ago:

Hardman is a player, like his teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster, that could be of interest to Cleveland during free agency. Unlike Smith-Schuster, Hardman is not expected to pull in a big contract this offseason. Instead, like Smith-Schuster last year, the former Chiefs first-round pick could sign a one-year, incentive-laden deal.

Coming out in the 2019 NFL draft, Hardman’s speed was impressive with a 4.33 40-yard dash and 1.48 10-yard split. Kansas City hoped he’d pair with Tyreek Hill to form a devastating duo of fast receivers.

Instead, in 57 games including 26 starts, Hardman produced just 151 receptions with a career-high in 2021 of 59. He has accumulated 16 touchdowns but his yards per reception have dropped from 20.7 to 11.9 since his rookie season.

Whatever team signs Hardman this offseason is hoping to get the kind of speed shown in 2020:

Getting this core surgery out of the way in February should allow Hardman to be healthy early this offseason for whatever team signs him in March. Perhaps the Browns will add a dose of speed to their roster with a low-risk, high-reward signing of Hardman.