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Notes: WR Rashard Higgins agrees to 1-year deal to return to Browns

“Hollywood” is coming back to Cleveland.

He never really left.

Receiver Rashard Higgins agreed to terms on a one-year deal for the $910,000 veteran minimum to remain with the Browns, a league source told The Chronicle-Telegram on Tuesday. He has been a free agent since March 18.

Higgins will compete to be the No. 3 receiver behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. The Browns drafted Michigan’s Donovan Peoples-Jones in the sixth round Saturday and have Damion Ratley and KhaDarel Hodge returning from last year.

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Higgins was a fifth-round pick of the Browns out of Colorado State in 2016. He’s started six of 54 games with 76 catches for 1,016 yards, a 13.4 average and seven touchdowns.

He developed chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield on the second team in the 2018 preseason and had his best regular season, catching 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games. But he had a steep decline last year, catching four passes for 55 yards and a touchdown in 10 games, including one start.

Higgins missed time early in the season with a knee injury, butted heads with coach Freddie Kitchens about when he was ready to return and saw his playing time greatly reduced.

GM Andrew Berry expects “fantastic” year from Baker Mayfield

FEEL LIKE A NUMBER

Joe Thomas gave the green light. Coach Kevin Stefanski put up the stop sign.

Tackle Jedrick Wills needed a number after being the No. 10 pick in the draft Thursday. He didn’t want to ask veteran tackle Chris Hubbard to give up No. 74, which Wills wore at Alabama. Thomas, the 10-time Pro Bowler, offered No. 73 — which was also worn by Doug Dieken — but Stefanski didn’t like the idea.

“First of all, I think that’s very gracious of Joe to offer that number, but I just didn’t think that was the right thing to do for a bunch of different reasons, and I told Jed that,” Stefanski said on 850 ESPN Cleveland. “The good news is I get to assign these numbers. So I made sure that he knew what numbers were available.”

Wills settled on No. 71.

“Starting my own Legacy #71,” he tweeted.

GETTING AFTER IT

Stefanski explained the schedule for the virtual offseason program, which started April 20. The coaches give two hours of classroom instruction every day Monday through Thursday.

The rookies will join the veterans May 11 after a virtual rookie minicamp May 8-10.

“The hope is that maybe it transitions to getting the guys on the field,” Stefanski said. “We’re ready with whatever the NFL allows us to do.

“We’re pouring a ton of resources into doing this virtual program. We’re just trying to do it better than anybody else. And if that gives us some slight advantage going into training camp, then it’ll be worth it.”

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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