Before the start of last season, there were rumors floating around that Ben Tate was going to become a Cleveland Brown. Those rumors have turned into a reality.
The Cleveland Browns have agreed to terms with the free-agent running back, inking him to a two-year deal worth about $7 million, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. A source told me earlier this morning that the Browns were in the final stages of negotiations.
Ben Tate was the best running back on the open the market. When Ben Tate was coming out of Auburn, many people thought he could be an every down back. Ben Tate never had the chance to be the lead back in Houston because of Arian Foster but, when he did have opportunities to showcase his talent he did. Tate has a 4.7 yards-per-carry over 40 career games.
In 2011, he rushed for a career high 942 yards, but the past two seasons he has been struggling with injuries. Even though Tate has been bitten by the “injury bug” of late, he is very tough. Last season, he played through the pain of four broken ribs in place of the injured Arian Foster. Tate rushed for 771 yards and a career high four touchdowns last season. He also had a career high in attempts (181) and saw more action as a receiver out of the backfield.
Under new general manager Ray Farmer, the Browns went into free agency wanting to get better at the running back position. After trading Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts in September, they never found a replacement and struggled at the running back position last year because of it.
New head coach Mike Pettine and new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will give Tate the opportunity to be the lead back for the Cleveland Browns.
Everyone knows that Shanahan comes from a family that emphasis running the football. If Tate can stay healthy, he could be primed for a career year.