It looks like the Browns’ pursuit of wide receiver Andrew Hawkins will fall short, as the Bengals plan to match Cleveland’s offer sheet. However, the Browns are eyeing another offensive weapon and may be the favorites to land him, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Rapoport reports that Cleveland seems to be in the lead to sign Ben Tate, with a visit planned for the free agent running back.
In his first four NFL season, Tate has been limited to just 421 total carries due to injuries and his spot on the Texans’ depth chart. Playing behind Arian Foster, the former second-round pick has yet to receive an extended run as a team’s feature back since entering the league. However, he has certainly exhibited the ability to be a No. 1 back — those 421 carries have yielded 1,992 yards, good for an average of 4.7 yards per carry. While he doesn’t have the track record of other running backs available this offseason, Tate may have the most upside of the group.
The Browns are in the market for a running back this winter after sending former starter Trent Richardson to Indianapolis last fall in exchange for a first-round pick.