Browns: Losing Isaiah Crowell was addition by subtraction


The Browns lost Isaiah Crowell to the free agent market. The 25-year-old running back will sign a three-year deal with the New York Jets once free agency begins on Wednesday. But maybe that’s for the best. 

Cleveland Browns fans soured on running back Isaiah Crowell pretty quickly during the 2017 season. With only 853 yards and two touchdowns on the season, Crowell failed to return to his near 1,000-yard form in 2016.

During the NFL’s legal tampering period before the start of free agency, Crowell agreed to a deal with the New York Jets.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news, citing a three-year contract between the Jets and Crowell.

But, if we’re being honest with ourselves, is anyone really going to miss Crowell? Probably not. In reality, losing Crowell to the New York Jets may be addition by subtraction.

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Crowell had stayed, and perhaps overstayed, his welcome in Cleveland. It was clear that by the time the season was over, Crowell was done with the Browns, and was just waiting to get paid.

However, the feeling was absolutely mutual. Just as much as Crowell was done with Cleveland and the Browns, Cleveland and the Browns were done with Isaiah Crowell.

Fans soon realized that Crowell was simply taking carries away from fellow running back Duke Johnson. While the Browns viewed Johnson mainly as just a third-down back, the writing was on the wall. Johnson’s talent was undeniable, and Crowell became expendable.

In addition to Duke Johnson, Crowell left the Browns due to the prospect of Saquon Barkley donning the orange and brown in 2018 — although that prospect died with the signing of Carlos Hyde. With Johnson and another back on the roster, Crowell would have seen his carries drastically decrease.

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The relationship between Isaiah Crowell and the Browns just soured over time. No hard feelings, but Crowell just was not needed on the Browns’ roster anymore. Between Johnson and Hyde, Crowell was just dead weight on a Browns team that will not need him come 2018.