The Cleveland Browns shocked the NFL world this week after trading the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts needed help at the running back position after losing Vick Ballard for the season while the Browns are stockpiling draft selections for the 2014 NFL Draft. To fill the void left by Richardson’s trade, Cleveland moved quickly to sign veteran free agent RB Willis McGahee.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Browns have another running back on their radar, Houston Texans back Ben Tate. Tate is currently platooned with Arian Foster in the Texans backfield but would likely be a starter on over half the NFL teams around the league.
Tate will become a free agent this offseason and it’s likely that the Texans will not be able to match any offers he’ll receive in order to remain as Foster’s backup. Tate’s workload has been questioned so far this season as he has carried the ball only 18 times but has posted an impressive 8.2 yards per carry.
Tate will turn 26 before the start of the 2014 season but has just 258 career carries at this point in the season. As a rookie, he rushed for 942 yards and four scores in 2011.
It appears that the Browns do have a plan in place and while the short term pain will be painful for Browns fans, if they have a successful draft, these short term moves will pay dividends.