Former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Steve Breaston, who was cut this past week, will reportedly meet with the Cleveland Browns in the next couple of days, sources told the Plain Dealer. Breaston recently met with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to ProFootballTalk.com. The Steelers need a replacement for talented wide out Mike Wallace, who has made it clear he will leave Pittsburgh this off-season. Wallace has been linked to the Cleveland Browns and just recently to the Miami Dolphins who sources say is the team’s “top target” in free agency.
Last season was a disaster for Breaston as he did not see eye-to-eye with the Chiefs coaching staff, costing him playing time. Breaston started just four games and caught only seven passes for 77 yards. Ironically, he was the Chiefs second-best receiver in 2011 after signing with Kansas City in the off-season as he had 61 receptions and two touchdowns. Breaston’s best season came in 2008 as a member of the Arizona Cardinals, hauling in 77 receptions for 1.0006 yards and three touchdowns.
The Browns interest in Breaston makes sense as the team needs a wide receiver that can potentially stretch the field. The Browns appear to have two young talented wide receivers to build with moving forward in Josh Gordon and Greg Little, but some veteran experience could help develop their emerging wide outs even faster. The Browns should focus on the wide receiver position in free agency because it needs to center its attention in the upcoming draft on a pass rusher and help in the secondary as the team adjusts to a new 3-4 defensive scheme.
While Steve Breaston would be a decent addition for the Browns, I do not envision the wide receiver ending up in Cleveland. Breaston has close ties with former Chiefs head coach and current offensive coordinator of the Steelers, Todd Haley. Breaston, though, has made it clear that playing time and contract terms will dictate where he signs in free agency, despite the rumblings of him joining Haley in Pittsburgh.
“I know of the Pittsburgh tradition and the winning ways, and it would be a great team to be involved with, but for me, it is all about using this process,” Breaston told the Tribune-Review. “I have to take everything in and see what would be a good fit for me and where I can come in and play.”
With the second most salary cap space available heading into free agency, the Browns should set its sights high in free agency and try to sign a player like Mike Wallace, even if it means relinquishing a hefty contract. Building through the draft is the recipe for success in the NFL but with the Browns $48.5 million under the salary cap, it is worth spending top dollars in free agency. The Browns would better off spending its money on a top tier free agent, rather than sign a mediocre player like Steve Breaston.