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Hawkins heading to Browns as Bengals refuse offer

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Updated: 3/18/2014 3:45 pm

Cincinnati, OH ( - Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins has officially become a member of the Cleveland Browns after the Cincinnati Bengals declined to match an offer sheet for the restricted free agent wide receiver.

Hawkins had agreed to a reported four-year, $13.6 million deal with the Browns last week that the Bengals had until Tuesday to decide whether or not to match. According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the front-loaded contract included a $3.8 million signing bonus and will pay Hawkins $10.8 million over the first two years.

The 28-year-old Hawkins joined the Bengals in 2011 after a two-year stint with Montreal in the CFL. He caught 51 passes for 533 yards and four touchdowns as Cincinnati's primary slot receiver in 2012, but began last season on the physically unable to perform list due to an ankle injury and was limited to 12 catches totaling 199 yards in eight games.

With Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu showing promise in their second NFL seasons last year, the Bengals already had solid depth behind All-Pro A.J. Green at the wide receiver position.

The Browns were seeking an experienced receiver to work the slot after releasing veteran Davone Bess earlier this month.

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