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Report: Bengals to match Browns offer to WR Andrew Hawkins

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Andrew Hawkins reportedly is returning to Cincinnati. (USATSI)
Andrew Hawkins reportedly is returning to Cincinnati. (USATSI)

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On the first day of free agency on Tuesday, it appeared that Bengals receiver Andrew Hawkins was ready to sign a four-year deal worth $12.2 million (with $5.3 million guaranteed) to jump to Cincinnati's AFC North rival, Cleveland.

Instead, with Hawkins still a restricted free agent, the Bengals reportedly will match the Browns offer and keep Hawkins in Cincinnati instead, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

It's a little bit of a surprising move, considering Hawkins is behind A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones on the Cincinnati receiver depth chart.

Though Hawkins' agent, Craig Schaffer, told Cleveland.com on Tuesday that, "Andrew is excited about the prospect of becoming a Cleveland Brown," the Bengals had five days to match Cleveland's offer. Hawkins missed eight games with injury last year, but it appears that Cincinnati felt like losing Hawkins to another team in its division was too much to bear.

So, Hawkins will make the same money he thought he would in Cleveland, and this way, he won't even have to shop for a new home in a new city.

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