Report: Cleveland Browns working out free agent RB Orleans Darkwa
The Cleveland Browns are reportedly bringing in free agent running back Orleans Darkwa, who last played in 2017, for a workout.
The Cleveland Browns will be working out free agent running back Orleans Darkwa, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. Darkwa missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a ruptured Achilles during an October free agent workout with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 27-year-old running back was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Miami Dolphins in 2014. Darkwa played in only four games for the Dolphins that season before being released and re-signing to the team’s practice squad.
In November 2014, the New York Giants signed Darkwa off the Dolphins practice and played seven games for New York. However, he had a very minimal role in the Giants offense that season.
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During the first three seasons of his career, Darkwa did not have a significant role in the Giants offense. From 2014-2016, Darkwa played in 37 games, rushing for 287 yards and four touchdowns on 75 carries. He also caught 10 receptions for 91 yards.
However, Darkwa had a breakout season in 2017 after becoming New York’s starting running back midway through the season. In 15 games, including 11 starts, Darkwa rushed for 751 yards and five touchdowns on 171 carries with only one fumble. He also caught 19 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown.
The Browns currently have a stacked running backs room with Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Duke Johnson, and Dontrell Hilliard. But with Hunt suspended for the first eight games of the season and Johnson looking to be traded, the Browns may be needing another running back in the near future.
Darkwa’s workout could potentially be a sign that the Browns are closer to moving Johnson than they were earlier in the offseason. Although the Browns have said they have no plans to trade Johnson despite his trade request, keeping Johnson into the season could create an awkward locker room situation considering Johnson has made it known he wants out of Cleveland.
A potential Darkwa signing would add another veteran running back that the Browns could lack at the beginning of the season if Johnson is traded. Darkwa has proven to be an effective runner in the NFL, which the Browns may want to have in case Chubb suffers an injury at the beginning of the season while Hunt is suspended.
If the Browns are planning on keeping Johnson into the regular season, it would be difficult for a veteran back like Darkwa to make the team’s 53-man roster due to the strong running back depth chart. Darkwa’s workout could also be a sign the Browns are looking at their options in case they find a trade partner for Johnson before the season begins.