For a team that only managed to win one game last season, it naturally goes without saying that the Cleveland Browns went into this year with a lot of directions in mind in which they could go about improving their team. And they utilized many different tools in order to go about doing that.
Up to this point, they have done about as much as they can to try to improve their team for the 2017 season—for example, there is not much more they can do at quarterback at this point—but one area in particular in which it would seem to make sense that they can continue to make an addition would be at the wide receiver position, and a couple of significant names have recently become available.
Among them is former Eagles and Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who had a significant down season a year ago while battling injuries. He was limited to 12 games and caught just 44 passes for 536 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But he had at least 85 catches for over 1000 yards and an average of nine touchdowns in each of the previous two.
So are the Browns looking at him? Head Coach Hue Jackson didn’t exactly seem to be sure while speaking to reporters after practice yesterday. “That’s a good thing if we did”, he answered in response to a question regarding a report that indicated the team had explored the possibility of adding Maclin.
“I don’t know much about that. One thing I know about our group is that we’re going to continue to look at ways to improve our football team”, Jackson went on to say. “I’ve said that numerous times, and I give Sashi [Brown] a lot of credit for that. I think we’re always out there looking. If there’s a player available, we’re going to take a look at him and see if he can help our football team”.
As of this writing, Maclin was still in Buffalo meeting with the Bills about returning to the east coast, and the Baltimore Ravens are also reportedly scheduled to meet with him. Personally, I think I would rather see him in Cleveland than Baltimore, but Buffalo sure sounds like a great place for him to play right about now.
Should either or both fail to sign Maclin, they could also pursue Eric Decker, who was recently released by the Jets. While a tall wide receiver, Decker is actually an experienced presence playing out of the slot. He had an injury-plagued 2016, limited to just three games, but he still had nearly 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
During the 2015 season, Decker caught 80 passes for 1027 yards in 15 games with 12 touchdowns. In seven seasons, the 30-year-old has 386 receptions for 5253 yards and 52 touchdowns. The only experienced wide receiver the Browns currently have is Kenny Britt, who has 30 touchdowns in eight seasons on 309 receptions for 4881 yards. He posted his first 1000-yard season in 2016.