Everyone knows that Cleveland Browns run game coordinator Stump Mitchell is very good at his job.
In 2022, he will need to be especially good at managing what looks like an embarrassment of riches in his running backs room.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) May 13, 2022
Some thought that D’Ernest Johnson could have been the odd man out as he had not signed his RFA tender.
Saturday’s news that the Browns reached a one-year deal with Johnson means the Browns now officially have five running backs on the roster.
Will the Browns carry five running backs on the 53-man roster?
If not, who will be the odd man out?
We will begin with who is not going to be left out.
The Browns are committed to Chubb for the long haul.
There is absolutely no doubt about it and for good reason.
All they need from Chubb is to have a healthy 17-game season where he achieves great success week after week.
Nick Chubb: 92.4 PFF Grade since 2019
🥇 1st among all running backs
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) May 30, 2022
While Hunt is in the final year of his contract and there were rumblings that he could be on the trading block, that seems unlikely.
Mary Kay Cabot wrote about Hunt’s future on May 29.
“Even with the surplus of running backs on the roster, Kareem Hunt is still very much in the Browns plans for this season. Heading into the final year of his contract at a maximum of $6.25 million, Hunt is viewed as a valuable member of the offense.”
The Browns want the Chubb and Hunt combo because when both are healthy, it is a tough tandem to stop.
The last #Browns game both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt played together in was against the Chargers. In those first 5 games, the team averaged 35 rushes. Since? 25.667 rushes.
Having both on the field is huge for this offense.
— Radar (@BirdAppJeff) November 22, 2021
The Browns obviously want Johnson on the roster, or they would not have tendered him a contract.
Source confirms the #Browns have agreed to a 1-year deal with RB D'Ernest Johnson. The team had placed a first-right-of-refusal tender on Johnson in March.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) June 4, 2022
He seemed like the player that could have been on the move prior to Saturday’s news.
And Then There Were Two
That leaves Felton and the rookie Ford.
Felton was mainly used as a wide receiver last season, but the Browns have said they would like him to be utilized as a running back this season.
#Browns scout Max Paulus said Demetric Felton will be in the running back room moving forward. Felton played mostly receiver as a rookie in 2021. Paulus said Jerome Ford will get work at kick returner
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) April 30, 2022
Demetric Felton- not necessarily a threat to the traditional RB carries- is still there, too, and it's not like they don't like him. I do wonder about this position and how it will shake out. That's a lotta good players. https://t.co/JUB9JzbrUy
— Ryan Burns (@FtblSickness) June 5, 2022
As for the rookie Ford, they seem to want to put him somewhere to get experience; that means he could be used exclusively on special teams snaps.
There must be a method to the madness, and maybe all five of them will be on the 53-man active roster.
One thing is for sure, no one can complain about the lack of depth among Browns running backs.
Watching Stump coach up all of these guys will be fun at training camp.
— BROWNS OR DIE 💀 (@BrownsorDie) May 26, 2022
We got a sneak peek at OTAs, but there will be much more to come.