Browns Cut Ties With RB Ben Tate
Ben Tate was supposed to come in and give the Cleveland Browns life at the running back position. The would-be franchise back is now on the streets.
The Browns reportedly released the disgruntled Tate after the running back publicly complained about playing time after being demoted recently. Tate received just two total touches in week 11 after being dropped down the depth chart behind rookies Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West.
The Browns deemed his talents to be expendable in lieu of him being a distraction, and he’ll now be on the hunt for his third NFL team.
Drafted by the Houston Texans in 2011, Tate has been an often injured running back, but at just 25 years old remains one of the more talented runners in the league. Despite recent struggles and his demotion, Tate still offers youth and upside to any NFL team willing to bring him in.
The question is, who will sign him? Tate certainly won’t be wanting for suitors, as numerous teams have taken hits in the backfield and could see Tate as the answer.
The Indianapolis Colts come to mind right away, as they just lost Ahmad Bradshaw for the year to a broken ankle. Tate has a similar skill-set to Bradshaw and could be the perfect complementary piece to pair with Trent Richardson. In fact, it’s not crazy to think Tate could come in and quickly surpass Richardson and act as the team’s every down back the rest of the way.
Of course, Tate may not be keen on sharing the rock again, as he just experienced that in Cleveland and it led to his release. Other teams that could use help at running back or would like to beef up their depth include the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills.
The Baltimore Ravens would be another interesting suitor as a rival of the Browns in the AFC North, although they seem content with a three-headed group at the position. The Denver Broncos are potentially the best team that could come calling, as they’ve seen Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman struggle to stay healthy.
As for the Browns, they’ll move forward with a two-back system featuring the aforementioned Crowell and West, with Crowell as the main starter. The loss of Tate shouldn’t impact the Browns too much, since he was already being phased out of the offense and wasn’t very effective before that began. If anything, Cleveland’s playoff odds might increase with the release of Tate, as his negative attitude has been shed from the roster.
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