(top) has spent three years behind Arian Foster
in Houston's backfield. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Cleveland Browns are looking to get in the mix for one of the top running backs available, reportedly sitting down with Houston Texans backup Ben Tate on Wednesday. ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report the news.
On Tuesday, Toby Gerhart signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Donald Brown went to the San Diego Chargers on three-year, $10.5 million, so the market for running backs is established and the Browns know what they will have to shell out if they want to make Tate their feature back moving forward.
Cleveland currently has Dion Lewis, Fozzy Whitaker and Edwin Baker as the running backs under contract, so there is a clear need to improve in the backfield.
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If the Browns can establish a threatening rushing attack to complement their dynamic passing game and star wide receiver Josh Gordon, their offense could be taken to new heights in 2014, perhaps making them a contender in the AFC North.
There are some concerns that Tate will not be able to stay healthy over the course of 16 games and carry the load as a feature back, but he is a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense and the Browns may think that is enough to take the risk.