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Browns Linked To Three Star Receivers Ahead Of Free Agency

Despite how their playoff appearance went, the 2023 season was a successful one for the Cleveland Browns. The blowout loss during Super Wild Card Weekend at the hands of the Houston Texans certainly hurts, but it doesn’t discount all of the work done in 18 weeks of the regular season.

The Browns had to overcome many obstacles, namely injuries to several key players. Winning 11 games despite starting five different players at quarterback is a feat no team has ever accomplished.

Heading into the 2024 offseason, the No. 1 thing the Browns will be looking for is better health on their roster. When it comes to upgrading said roster, one position that could see an infusion of talent is wide receiver.

NFL News & Rumors: Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars, 2024 NFL Free Agency, Cleveland Browns Updates

Cleveland has a bonafide No. 1 option in Amari Cooper and tight end David Njoku broke out this season. But finding that consistent third option in the passing game is a must for the team this offseason. More than likely, it will come in the form of a new No. 2 receiver behind Cooper.

Who could the Browns look to target? Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report put together a list of players that could fit the bill for Cleveland, including Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. One under-the-radar target, in Knox’s opinion, could be Calvin Ridley.

[David] Bell, [Cedric] Tillman and [Elijah] Moore are all mid-level, complementary receivers at this point in their careers. That may change as they continue to develop, but it’s time for Berry to go after a No. 2 target with more upside,” Knox wrote. “Targeting a receiver like … Ridley in free agency would be difficult — the Browns are projected to be $13.9 million over the cap [as of Tuesday] — but not impossible.”

Ridley has shown No. 1 receiver capabilities in his career. Back in 2020 with the Atlanta Falcons, he caught 90 passes for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. His career was derailed by injuries and a one-year suspension for gambling on the NFL after that, but he had a solid bounceback in 2023 with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

NFL News & Rumors: Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars, 2024 NFL Free Agency, Cleveland Browns Updates

Playing in all 17 games this season, Ridley caught 76 passes for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns. He struggled at times with drops, but that is a strong campaign for someone who essentially hadn’t played in two seasons.

To target and acquire a player of Ridley’s caliber, the Browns have some work to do with the salary cap. But, front offices find ways to create available money every offseason and if Cleveland wants Ridley enough, the necessary moves will be made to ensure they can make a competitive offer to him.

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