While all of the news surrounding the Cleveland Browns in the last day has been focused on their trade of Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts the signing of free agent Willis McGahee has been largely overlooked. News of the Browns bringing in McGahee emerged yesterday shortly after the Richardson trade was announced. Compared to the Richardson news being shouted from the rooftops the McGahee news has been nothing more than a whisper. However, McGahee could be as productive as Richardson was for the Browns, maybe even more so.
McGahee, 31, is old in running back years and his legs look like the surface of the moon with all if their scars but he was still a productive back last season with the Denver Broncos. He appeared in 10 games and gained 731 yards on 167 carries, a 4.4 yard-per-carry average. In 2011, McGahee rushed for 1,199 yards on 249 carries, a 4.8 yard average.
McGahee is also effective out of the backfield in the passing game. Last season, he caught 26 passes for 221 yards, a very respectable 8.5 yard average. Richardson was the focal point of the Browns’ offense but the production wasn’t there. Granted, it isn’t easy with the Browns these days but McGahee is still a capable running back and should fit in well with the Browns’ offense.
While McGahee might not have a lot left in the tank he should still be productive this season and should provide some veteran leadership to the young running backs Bobby Rainey and Dion Lewis. While this season will just be another frustrating one for Cleveland Browns the new front office, led by new GM Michael Lombardi, is making their mark and will use the first round pick to help build a team that fits their philosophy moving forward. Even if McGahee is not part of that future he should be a reliable stopgap for the remainder of this season.