The past several days have been interesting with RB Ben Tate and the Cleveland Browns, with reporters seeming to never quite be sure if he was meeting with the team, taking a physical, or even in town at all. On Saturday afternoon, that finally came to an end when Tate himself posted the following to Twitter (and later confirmed by the team):
The 5-10, 220 pound running back will be entering his fifth season, one in which he has averaged 4.7 yards per carry as a backup behind Arian Foster in Houston. Tate has had some issues with injuries, though, which might be the reason why the Browns are only committing to a two-year deal with him, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. Schefter also says that the two-year deal is worth up to $7 million:
Browns are giving former Texans RB Ben Tate a two-year deal worth up to $7 million, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2014
By this being a two-year deal, though, you'd have to imagine that this is still a "prove it" deal. In fact, if Tate explodes in 2014 for the Browns, I wouldn't be surprised to see him receive a contract extension after the season is over. Tate will immediately become the team's featured running back, and he has experience in the zone blocking scheme, making him a good fit with Kyle Shanahan.
The Browns' interest in Tate has been long-rumored, even back to last season after the team traded Trent Richardson to the Colts.
Lots of Browns' plans shifted with regime. But pursuit of Tate didn't. Cleveland has been eyeing him since the Richardson trade.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 15, 2014
Are you pumped to see Tate as the Browns' featured back in 2014?