The Cincinnati Bengals will retain wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Hawkins, a restricted free agent, was given the lowest tender worth $1.431 million with original round compensation. Cleveland signed Hawkins to a four-year offer sheet worth $12.2 million with over $4 million guaranteed (some cite a $5.3 million guaranteed). The Bengals had seven days to match the offer or allow Hawkins to walk.
They're planning to match.
Bengals plan to match 4-yr, $12.2M offer sheet that includes $5,3M gtd that Cincinnati RFA WR Andrew Hawkins signed with Cleveland.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014
After posting a career-year with 51 grabs, 533 yards receiving and four touchdowns in 2012, Hawkins only played eight games in 2013 after dealing with a high ankle sprain -- which largely impacted his overall participation.
It was originally believed that the team would allow Hawkins to leave, while giving players like Mohamed Sanu more work from the slot -- where he worked primarily last season.