’ 2012 output helped him draw interest from an AFC North rival. (Simon Bruty/SI)
The wide receiver market has been slow to develop following the Tennessee Titans' signing of former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver/kick returner Dexter McCluster, but one of the players who has seen the most action is Cincinnati Bengals restricted free agent Andrew Hawkins.
Hawkins received an offer sheet from the Cleveland Browns shortly after 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday; however, Cincinnati doesn't appear willing to watch the speedy slot receiver bolt to a division rival.
According to multiple media reports, the Bengals plan to match the four-year, $12.2 million deal that was offered up by the Browns.
Hawkins is valued around the league for his shiftiness and ability to make plays after the catch, so Cincinnati would be wise to lock him up before another team swoops in and makes an offer that it would be unable to match.
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Last season, Hawkins was hampered by injuries and only managed to haul in 12 catches for 199 yards, but the 2012 campaign that included 51 grabs, 533 yards and four touchdowns is still fresh in the minds of talent evaluators around the league.
Hawkins is not a No. 1 wide receiver, but the speed and playmaking ability that he brings to an offense is unmatched by any of the other receivers who are currently available.