Jerome Ford named as Browns surprise cut candidate

Could the Browns move on from their leading rusher in 2024?
Cleveland Browns, Jerome Ford
Cleveland Browns, Jerome Ford / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

With Nick Chubb on the IR for all but two games, the Cleveland Browns turned to second-year running back Jerome Ford to fill the void. Ford averaged four yards per attempt and finished with 813 yards.

Those numbers are respectable but he was aided by several breakaway runs that padded his stats. Still, he proved he was a capable option in a committee and was especially productive as a receiver out of the backfield with 319 yards and five touchdowns.

Despite that, Jack Duffin of The OBR sees a scenario where Ford is let go during the season.

“I don’t consider Strong or Kelly as candidates to make the final 53, they probably land on the practice squad. This leaves Hines, Foreman and Ford as the three to make the team, this could all change with a draft pick. I could certainly see them add someone during the draft which would force one of Foreman or Ford off the roster, then the other departing when Chubb returns. I would say a draft pick is in play but they don’t need to force the decision like some other positions.”

As Duffin points out, the running back room could be crowded when Chubb returns. That's true even if the team doesn't select a running back in the 2024 NFL Draft. If they do grab one — and they've met with several during the scouting process — Ford could slide down to fourth on the depth chart even before Chubb is in the mix.

Browns improved running game is an offseason win

Considering how poorly the ground game fared down the stretch in 2023, the front office had no choice but to improve their backfield. With Chubb’s return date uncertain, they needed someone who would be more consistent than Ford, and D’Onte Foreman fits that bill.

They also added Nyheim Hines, who is a good option as a receiving back on third downs. He's even a weapon as a return man, which is another need.

Cleveland is much stronger at running back now, but that means players with plenty of talent — such as Ford — can find themselves in the chopping block.

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