RBs D’Onta Foreman, Pierre Strong On Browns’ Roster Bubble?

Attention related to the Browns’ backfield will continue to be directed toward Nick Chubb while his rehab from multiple knee surgeries continues. It is unclear when he will be back on the field, and as training camp approaches Cleveland will have a number of contenders for depth running back spots.

Jerome Ford – who took on starting duties after Chubb’s injury – is in line to reprise his RB1 workload until Chubb is back in the fold. The Browns also have Nyheim Hines in place as a pass-catching and returner option. After missing all of 2023 due to an ACL tear, Hines is hopeful to be on the field in time for the start of training camp. Cleveland has other backs on the roster, and their fates will be determined over the course of the summer.

Specifically, D’Onta Foreman and Pierre Strong could find themselves competing for one roster spot. Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal writes that Chubb’s health will be a key factor in determining how many running backs the Browns keep in the fold to begin the campaign. If the latter misses time in the fall, Foreman and Strong could survive roster cuts. If he is healthy by Week 1, however, keeping both in the fold (in addition to Ford and Hines) may not be feasible.

Strong was acquired via trade from the Patriots last summer, and he played sparingly on offense in Cleveland. The 2022 fourth-rounder logged a notable workload on special teams, though, and his third phase abilities could help him secure a spot. Foreman, on the other hand, has a longer track record of production in the backfield. The 28-year-old has played 52 games with four different teams, and his most productive campaign came in 2022 with the Panthers (914 rushing yards, five touchdowns).

Foreman signed a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum in March, and he is set to carry a cap hit of $1.15MM this season. That is slightly higher than Strong’s cap charge, and the latter is on the books through 2025. Releasing Foreman would create $818K in cap savings, although his track record could make him an attractive option to outside teams looking to add him via the waiver wire. Plenty is still to be determined separate from Chubb’s health, and Foreman and Strong’s showings this summer will be worth monitoring.

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