The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent running back Willis McGahee today. It was reported yesterday that McGahee was going to be offered a contract with the Browns as long as he was able to pass his physical. The team was satisfied with the results of the physical today and McGahee was signed to a contract. The 31-year-old running back will be available to play Sunday against the Vikings.
The Browns needed to sign a running back due to the trade of starting running back Trent Richardson yesterday to the Indianapolis Colts for the Colts 1st-round pick in 2014. You can read my thoughts on the trade hereand here. McGahee last played with the Denver Broncos last season. He was enjoting a good season when it was ended abruptly after 10 games when he tore his right MCL and fractured his right knee. At the time of his injury, he had 731 yards rushing and 26 catches for 221 yards. He was coming off of a Pro Bowl season in 2011 when he ran for 1199 yards.
McGahee, who turns 32 in a month, will immediately become the primary ball carrier for the Browns. Heading into Week 3, the Browns do not have an active player that has carried the ball for a positive gain. Only Richardson and QB Brandon Weeden have positive rushing yards for the Browns through the first two games. Weeden is out this Sunday with a hurt right thumb. Brian Hoyer gets the start at quarterback this week.
It remains to be seen if McGahee can carry the load for the rest of the season. The Broncos decided against bringing him back this season, as they were concerned about his ability to heal from a significant knee injury. McGahee has now had major injuries to both knees. Also, after Week 1, the New York Giants brought him in for a tryout as they needed help at running back, but decided to sign Brandon Jacobs instead.