<
>

Browns tried (and failed) to sign receivers

The Cleveland Browns will be looking for some payback in this year's game against the Washington Redskins, who have become a thorn in the side of Cleveland's offense this offseason.

The Redskins apparently not only stopped the Browns from moving up in the draft to get quarterback Robert Griffin III, but they also took wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan away from Cleveland, a league source told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Garcon (five-year deal worth $42.5 million) and Morgan (five-year deal that will most likely void to a two-year deal worth $12 million) signed contracts with Washington that "would've broken the Browns' bank," according to the report.

So, the good news is the Browns acknowledge they have a problem at wide receiver. The bad news is they still have a problem at wide receiver.

The biggest addition the Browns can make now at wide receiver is drafting Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon with the fourth overall pick. But that means passing on Alabama running back Trent Richardson. If the Browns could've landed a receiver like Garcon, it would have made the decision at No. 4 much easier.

The problem with the Browns' wide receivers is the lack of speed, which results in the lack of explosive plays. The Browns' wide receivers produced more yards than the Ravens, but Cleveland's average per catch from its wide receivers (11.9 yards) wasn't even close to Baltimore's average (16.0 yards).

In fact, the Steelers' Mike Wallace nearly had as many catches over 20 yards (he had 18) as all of the Browns' wide receivers combined (20). Wallace did have as many touchdown catches (eight) as the Browns' wide receivers.

The Browns have to do something more than "try" if they want to improve their offense. The current lineup of wide receivers -- Greg Little, Mohamed Massaquoi, Josh Cribbs, Jordan Norwood and Carlton Mitchell -- doesn't scare anyone.