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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Domenik Hixon To Visit Panthers, Browns

Carolina will host Giants WR Domenik Hixon early next week.  Apparently the Browns have a level of interest, as well.

The 6'2, 200 lb Hixon appears to be out in New York, as the Giants appear to be headed younger at WR - and bracing for anything that might happen with RFA Victor Cruz. Hixon caught 39 balls last year for 567 yards/2 TD. profootballfocus.com, who listed Hixon as their 7th best available WR at the onset of free agency, and their best remaining player days ago, says Hixon caught a very high 67% of targets.  Hixon, a decent slot receiver as well, didn't get much time there over the last few years with Victor Cruz taking on the role.

The 28 year old German-born Hixon, if signed, would make two former Giants in a row, and actually, two Akron stars in a row, given that the team signed Chase Blackburn a few days ago.

Hixon is also a return man, putting him potentially in competition with Ted Ginn for a job if both are here.  The Panthers have younger return options, though not necessarily as good.  The same could be said at WR - Carolina has a need for experience at WR - having gone through the last two years with one experienced receiver, and a ton of youth around Steve Smith.  Nonetheless, the team has used 3 WR and shotgun sets as much as any other team in the league.

 Brandon LaFell has grown into a starting level player, but is a free agent after the year and there haven't been contributions from various other draft picks - Armanti Edwards (a 3rd rounder), David Gettis (6th), Kealoha Pilares (5th), or Joe Adams (4th) over the last three years.  That group would be tough to get rid of, since it could still be considered a talented bunch.  But, it's time to distinguish yourself from that group, with the vets Carolina has looked to receive.

At this point in free agency, it's a good time to get players like Hixon on one year deals, or two years if you want to get a bargain on a guy you want to stick around long term.
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