Free agency has slowed down. The Buccaneers are being diligent and disciplined with what remains of their cap space. With all the vast majority of the big names signed, there could be some bargains left in free agency who could help the team.
Reaching Out to Another Cleveland Browns Castoff
In 2016, the Cleveland Browns selected Rashard Higgins 172nd overall. The Colorado State University product came out of college with high marks. Most mock drafts had him being selected in the third and fourth rounds. For the most part, much of the promise draft analysts came from his 2014 season. In 2014 he posted 96 receptions for 1,750 yards and 17 touchdowns. Unfortunately, the 2015 season was not a continuation of his success. Couple the drop off in 2015 with the 4.6 seconds 40 and he dropped to the fifth round.
The abysmal lackluster 2016 Cleveland Browns exemplified poor management and gameplay. The team’s quarterback situation was a who’s who of who not to sign and play. Also, the wide receivers consisted of Corey Coleman, Terrelle Pryor, and Higgins beneath some others. Higgins would only see 17% of the offensive snaps and 12 targets. This only resulted in 77 yards. With changes ahead, he would have to make an impact in 2017.
2017 saw more flux at the wide receiver position. Josh Gordan returned and Sammy Coats was added. The quarterback situation still remained subpar with DeShone Kizer. Even within this bad system, Higgins hauled in 27 receptions for 312 yards and two touchdowns. This production was through 66% of the offensive snaps.
The following season, Higgins jumped in performance again. This time to the tune of 39 receptions and 572 yards. He added four touchdowns and was averaging 14.7 yards a catch. Part of the increase in productivity was the addition of Baker Mayfield. But even with the addition of a better quarterback, Higgins was sent back down the roster behind the likes of Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and had to fight with Breshad Perriman. Maybe you heard of the last wideout.
2019 was disappointing. Jarvis Landry and new addition Odell Beckham Jr. quickly became the targets of choice for Mayfield. With each posting over 1,000 yards and over 70 receptions each. Higgins became an afterthought and saw only four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, he only played 16% of the offensive snaps stunting his growth.
2020 Free Agency
The 2020 NFL draft has one of the deepest wide receiver groups I have ever seen. The ability to add a playmaker at the wide receiver position can be had all the way to the fourth and fifth rounds. This has caused the free-agent wide receivers’ stock crashing. The market has been slow to come around and may have to wait till after the draft. Wide receiver hungry teams could reignite the market if they feel they did not get what they needed in the draft.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay can bring in Higgins before the draft for CHEAP! For example, Geronimo Allison signed with the Detriot Lions for a measly $1.047 million. Allison has been a small part of Green Bay’s offense over the past four years. Subsequently, this means Higgins could probably sign for less given the season he had last year and the Buccaneers could get him to continue to grow from his 2018 season. He can also contribute to special teams.
For more follow us on twitter @Bucs_Report and me at @BucSalty!