The Cleveland Browns are deep at running back and for that reason, one reporter thinks they won’t rule out a trade during the season
It’s hard to find any team that’s as deep at running back as the Cleveland Browns are heading into Week 1 of the 2022 season.
They currently have Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who by themselves could be considered the best running back corps in the NFL. But then they can turn to D’ernest Johnson — who had 534 yards last season when Hunt was injured for much of the season — as well as rookie Jerome Ford who excelled in the preseason.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s also Demetric Felton who will line up more at receiver but can play in the backfield.
That’s why it was recently asked if the front office might consider making a trade in order to fill a position of greater need. Cleveland.com reporter Mary Kay Cabot answered that very question, saying she doesn’t think general manager Andrew Berry would rule out making a move during the season.
"“The trade deadline is Nov. 1, and although the Browns currently have no plans to trade one of their running backs, they probably wouldn’t rule it out if the right offer came along. They currently have Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson and Jerome Ford. They can also use Demetric Felton as a running back. They might be able to part with Johnson because Ford exceeded expectations in preseason. But they’re not looking to trade him.”"
The key thing MKC said is that the Browns are not looking to trade anyone. However, she also knows this front office is willing to listen and they could decide as the trade deadline approaches to send someone such as Johnson to another team so they can get some draft capital in 2023 — or maybe another player who fills a need — rather than letting him walk in free agency.
What would stop the Browns from making a trade?
Of course, the main reason to keep all their players is the health concerns they might have. As previously mentioned, Hunt missed time in 2021 as he was sidelined for nine games. Chubb has also battled injuries in recent seasons, missing four games in 2020 and three last year.
Should either back go down for any amount of time, they would prefer to turn to a deep bench, rather than find themselves wishing they had someone such as Johnson to carry the load as they did this past season.
Cleveland is in good shape with the cap and can afford to go heavy at the spot, which is why someone would have to make a great offer for them to budge.