Cleveland Browns sizing up free agents, including their own

Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins among the players they could lose

Cleveland Browns sizing up free agents, including their own
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins reacts before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Cleveland. The Ravens won 47-42. (AP Photo/David Richard) (Source: David Richard)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 2021 is already feeling a lot like 2020 for the Browns.

You know, zoom meetings.

Remote workouts.

No Combine.

“I think we’ve gotten pretty good at this zoom,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said during a zoom meeting on Tuesday. “We’ve had a lot of meetings with potential players like this, this week already.”

But it’s not just about the Draft, which takes place here in Cleveland in less than two months.

It’s about adding key free agents, especially on defense, like maybe Lavonte David ... and keeping the free agents who are already here, like maybe Hollywood Higgins.

“I won’t touch on the specific dialogue that we’ve had,” Browns G.M. Andrew Berry said on Wednesday, “but I think it’s suffice to say we’d like to have Rashard back. He obviously played a key role for us this past year.”

“I’d love to bring everybody back,” Stefanski said. “I’ve had some really great relationships with all these players, and you want to bring ‘em all back. We just realize that this is a business and sometimes that’s not possible.”

As for making a long-term commitment to Baker, well, that answer hasn’t changed....

“We’ve been pretty consistent with our messaging around Baker, that we think he had a really strong season for us,” Berry said. “We like the maturation and the growth, both on and off the field, and we’re looking forward to him continuing to take steps in the second year of the offense.”

Oh, and one other thing hasn’t changed. Stefanski’s mantra.

“We have to get better, we have to improve,” Stefanski said. “I have to be a better coach next year for this team.”

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