So much for the Browns and Travis Benjamin being "close" to agreeing on a new contract. Despite a previous report that indicated the two sides would work out a deal before the wide receiver hit the open market, the team and Benjamin have broken off contract talks.
As first reported by NFL Network's Rand Getlin, Benjamin will hit the open market after all -- coming from Benjamin's agent.
And that directly refutes what was reported a day ago, when ESPN's Tony Grossi tweeted that the Browns were "close" to signing Benjamin.
A fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft, Benjamin finally caught on in 2015, totaling 68 receptions, 966 yards and five touchdowns. More impressively, he did that even though he was forced to catch passes from Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel and Austin Davis.
For the Browns, it can't feel good to potentially lose a player they patiently developed for four seasons. Benjamin is a quality young player and the Browns need quality young players in order to build something successful in Cleveland. Locking up Benjamin at a reasonable price before free agency would've helped. Now, he'll likely be available for hire.