Browns Notes: Jackson, Williams, Hawkins

Prior to the draft shakeup that ended with the Rams and Eagles moving up to the Nos. 1-2 spots to take Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, Hue Jackson became enamored with the Cal quarterback, viewing him as the only passer the Browns would take at No. 2, Michael Silver of reports.

During a meeting with Goff’s parents the night before his pro day, Jackson assured them the Browns would not start him until they had an offensive line Jackson deemed able to protect the rookie. This mid-March meeting came a few days after Cleveland lost Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz in free agency.

However, Jackson viewed Robert Griffin III as an insurance policy in case something were to happen at No. 1 and Goff became out of reach. The first-year Browns coach pointed to Carson Palmer‘s 2003 pro day as the only quarterback workout he could recall that was better than Griffin’s Browns audition. The Browns did not make an attempt to trade up with the Titans to secure the No. 1 pick and Goff, Silver reports.

Here’s more coming out of Cleveland as the rebuilding team wraps up its preseason.

  • Jackson began to sour on Marvin Lewis‘ proposed coach-in-waiting idea which would have given Jackson the Bengals’ reins after the 2017 season. Mike Brown also reportedly wasn’t fully on board with this, but while open to remaining in Cincinnati, the eventual Cleveland coach did not want to be part of what could have been an awkward transition, per Silver.
  • Waived earlier this week after an acrimonious dispute with the team, K’Waun Williams has asked the Browns to pay for his ankle surgery, Mary Kay Cabot of reports. Despite an injury hovering at the center of Williams’ departure from northeast Ohio, the Browns waived the third-year cornerback instead of doing so with an injury designation. The latter course of action would have forced the Browns to either place their previous nickel corner on IR or reach an injury settlement with him. He’s now a free agent after failing his Bears physical due to bone spurs residing in his ankle. As it stands now, Williams isn’t set to receive any money from the Browns for a surgery two independent doctors told him he needs, Cabot reports. Williams, who scratched himself from the Browns’ preseason opener against the Packers to lead to a fine and suspension, was injured while practicing with the Browns. Sources told the writer, however, Williams didn’t mention the ankle injury until the following day. A Browns refusal to pay for this procedure would likely lead to Williams’ agent filing a grievance through the NFLPA. A former UDFA, Williams served as the Browns’ nickel back for two seasons and started 10 games during that span.
  • Andrew Hawkins could be the latest Browns veteran to be cut, with Taylor Gabriel having a standout preseason, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal writes. Ulrich views Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, Terrelle Pryor and fifth-rounder¬†Rashard Higgins as having sewn up spots among the team’s likely six-receiver contingent. Fourth- and fifth-rounders Ricardo Louis and Jordan Payton are on the bubble despite having come off the board in rounds that usually correlate¬†with 53-man roster access. Hawkins, who also played under Jackson in Cincinnati, and is entering his age-30 season. An injury in 2015 limited the diminutive target to eight games, but Hawkins recorded 824 receiving yards in 2014 during his first season with the Browns. Although Hawkins is only set to make $1MM this season, Gabriel is 25 and would earn $500K.
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