If the rumors of the NFL lockout coming to an end is true, it is finally time to start focusing on the field instead of court rooms and how to split a multi-billion dollar pot. Once the lockout is over and free agency begins, the Browns shouldn’t rule out finding help in the backfield.â†µ
As the roster currently stands the two main men are Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty. Hillis is coming off a huge season, but is he just a one year wonder? Hardesty missed all of last season with an injury so is still considered a major question mark.â†µ
The key running back free agents will be Ronnie Brown, Ahmad Bradshaw, Cedric Benson and DeAngelo Williams. These four will probably command a hefty paycheck and won’t be on the Browns radar. There are a few veteran options that could help and will be much more affordable. Kevin Smith, Darren Sproles, and Michael Bush might be reasonable options for the Browns.â†µ
Smith has been banged up for Detroit his first few years but still has a high ceiling. At the age of 24 he won’t be around anymore in Detroit with Jahvid Best and Mikel LeShoure ahead of him on the depth chart. Smith could be a nice addition to the Browns backfield if they can get him at the right price.â†µ
Darren Sproles is a little older, but definitely more durable. With the exception of 2006, Sproles has only missed two games in his career. Sproles might be more expensive, but is also a great receiver out of the backfield and could be a welcome addition to the Browns new offense.â†µ
Michael Bush might be the best option but will probably also be the most expensive. Bush is coming off his best season and with Darren McFadden’s success is probably leaving Oakland. Bush has the potential to be a number one running back so might not be on the Browns radar.â†µ
It’ll be an interesting free agent period for sure and I for one can’t wait for it all to get started.