WR Rashard Higgins (3.26.21)

On how confident he was that he would re-sign with the Browns:

“Honestly, I knew where I wanted to be, let’s say that. I knew where I wanted to be. Obviously, there were a lot of team hitting on me and I had decisions, but why not be a Cleveland Brown? I feel like all of the pieces to the puzzle are in place. Why not? We just made a historic run, something that has not been done in 20 years. It is just like going to another team, how does that really benefit me? Obviously, for the money, you can say that, but the cap is down. To go somewhere for another million or another two million, then you start over with a whole other quarterback and then you start over with a whole new playbook. It is just like what in another team would you be looking for? We just made a playoff run. We have everything I need here with the Cleveland Browns. Why not?”

 

On how much of last season’s Kansas City game has motivated him, including his fumble at the goal line that resulted in a touchback:

“Just playing football at the end of the day. It was just football. It was just football. Looking back at it, it was a helmet-to-helmet hit. Not too much we can say about it. It is football at the end of the day. Move on.”

 

On if he turned down more money from another team to come back to Cleveland:

“I definitely had other offers on the table, but this was one that was a no-brainer.”

 

On if when making his decision he considered that it may be hard to get on the field this year with the players in the Browns WR room and personnel decisions:

“At the end of the day, we are playing football. It is the next-man-up mentality. I am here because this is the best situation, this is the best position and this is where I want to be. The cap was down so obviously there was not too much money to be made. Let’s just see how this year plays out. I have my quarterback, I have everything in line like I want it to be and I am just glad to be a Cleveland Brown.”

 

On if he talked to QB Baker Mayfield about returning to Cleveland:

“Definitely. I was telling him every team that was hitting on me. I was telling him what he thinks about this. Honestly, he was telling me to weigh my options. Honestly, he wants me to be a Brown, but if I have to do something from the standpoint of taking care of my family, then make the best decision for me. Baker is always going to be there for me – there is no question about that. At the end of the day when I did weigh my options, it only made sense. Here I am. I am a Cleveland Brown, and I am looking to run this thing back.”

 

On how much better the Browns can be in 2021:

“Honestly, I feel like we have what it takes with everyone being back on the team. We lost a couple of guys and (Cincinnati Bengals DT) Larry (Ogunjobi) on the front line. (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew Berry did a hell of a job doing what he had to do to put us in position to succeed. We believe in this staff, we believe in each other and we have what it takes. Why not run it back and do what we did but even better this year?”

 

On how much consistency played a factor in his decision to return to the Browns, including with Mayfield, the offensive system, the playbook and Browns players and coaches:

“Playing football, being consistent – that is what it is all about. That is what the staff likes. That is what everybody wants in life – they just want something that is consistent. If you are consistent on the football field, obviously, the staff wants you. Looking at the staff coming back, everybody is here, like you said. That weighs in on the judgmental aspect of things on making the decision. You have a coach that is here to stay – the Coach of the Year – I have not had that since I have been here. There has always been a different coach. Just knowing (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski and believing in him and his group and making a playoff run his first year here, that is the start for me. Let’s run it back.”

 

On referring to the play during the Kansas City game as a ‘football play,’ the decision to stretch for the pylon and if he was aware of the rule that offensive fumbles going out of bounds in the end zone result in a touchback:

“Obviously, I think the rule should be looked at. That was a huge turning point in the game. I still feel like we had a chance though at the end. Looking back at things, I was just trying to spark something for the team. I feel like we needed a spark. It was just a football play. It was just somewhat ironic that it was a helmet-to-helmet hit, and an incident like that, you would think something would be looked at, just because it is right there at the goal line. Obviously, it was clear as day. The ref might not have had a good angle at it. I do not know how it was, but you have to move on from it. It is a new year. It is football at the end of the day. I was just trying to make a play for the team. That is all that was.”

 

On if he believed the hit caused the fumble in the Kansas City game:

“If you want to say that, you can say that. He hit me, and the ball popped out. Obviously, I have done it before – the Cincinnati game, I launched for the pylon. You can say that. It just so happened I fumbled the ball, and it went out at the goal line for a touchback. It is what it is.”

 

On if support from Browns fans impacted his decision to return to Cleveland and what the Browns fans’ support means to him:

“The fan support for me in Cleveland is unbelievable. I have fans reaching out from Canada and from London. It is unbelievable. To say Cleveland is not the best fan base in America, I do not know if there is a better fan base. Weighing my decision, did the fans have an impact on it? I can say yeah. Obviously, I love our fans and they love me. At the end of the day, this is somewhere that I want to be. Honestly, it was a no-brainer for me weighing my options so here I am. The fans still love me. I think they would still love me regardless if I go anywhere. I am just excited to be a Brown, and they are, too.”

 

On his tweet yesterday saying ‘be careful of who you trust’ and ‘even people you consider friends can have bad intentions for you’:

“Honestly, I have been through a lot of stuff in life. I was just tweeting how I feel. I was speaking off of the heart.  The things that I have been through in life, maybe somebody needs to hear it and maybe that will cause them to look at what they have going on in life and re-evaluate some things. I do not know if it is their financial guy or there are people who are out there who want the best interest for them but have better intentions for themselves so they might try to gain off of you. Maybe that tweet can help somebody re-evaluate their circle and just have a different outlook on things. It was not too much to think about. It was just how I was feeling at the moment.”

 

On stating his decision to return to Cleveland was a ‘no-brainer’ and if the Browns ‘sweetened their deal at all to help him make up his mind’:

“That I am not sure. I believe they gave me a little bit more in signing bonus so that was sweet.”

 

On mentioning the 2021 NFL cap situation and if he was surprised the WR market may not have been what he initially expected:

“Obviously, a goal for me is to get paid, and that is the reason that we do play the game is because we love it, we want to get paid and take care of our family. If I have to do what I did to do it even better, why not bet on myself again? I am willing to bet on myself every time if I have to. The cap is going up next year – better TV, more market. It will be way better next year so we will see around this time next year where we stand.”

 

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