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Browns release wide receiver Andrew Hawkins

Cleveland Browns v Washington Redskins

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 2: Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins #16 of the Cleveland Browns carries the ball against cornerback Will Blackmon #41 and inside linebacker Will Compton #51 of the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedExField on October 2, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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The Browns on Monday announced that veteran wide receiver Andrew Hawkins has been released.

Hawkins, who turns 31 next month, played a leadership role for a young team last season and caught 33 passes. He had his best year with the Browns in 2014, when he caught 63 passes for 824 yards and two touchdowns.

The Browns pursued Hawkins in 2014 as a restricted free agent and officially brought him on board when the Bengals did not match the offer sheet. He had gone from the CFL and a Michael Irvin reality show to finally catching on with the Bengals in 2011 and playing a significant role in 2012, when he had 51 catches and four touchdowns.

The Browns drafted four wide receivers last year, a sign that Hawkins was probably in his final year with the team. He also played under Browns coach Hue Jackson when Jackson was an assistant with the Bengals.

“It’s tough to say goodbye to men like Hawk, that have done everything you’ve asked of them and gone above and beyond when it comes to leadership,” Jackson said in the team’s statement on the move. “Hawk was a rock for us last season. He kept our locker room together and led by example as he gave everything he had on the field. Our young players are going to be better players and better people because of the time they spent with Andrew Hawkins.”