The rumor originally came out right before the Baltimore Ravens beat down the Houston Texans 30-9 on Sunday, but it was quickly swept under the rug by the game recaps and a certain Raven getting injured by a stripper. What’s the rumor? Just that Ben Tate may not be a Texan much longer.
Tate would certainly be a great starting running back for some NFL team, as he was originally drafted to be the Texans’ starter but had some bad luck injury-wise (and Arian Foster came along). So far this season Tate has averaged 6.8 yards per carry on 27 rushes for 184 yards.
ESPN‘s Adam Schefter broke the story that the Cleveland Browns wanted Tate, and he’s usually pretty accurate when it comes to these kinds of rumors.
“Cleveland already has its eyes on Trent Richardson‘s replacement. The Browns covet Texans running back Ben Tate, whose contract expires after this season, and will be aggressive in bringing him to Cleveland, league sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Should Cleveland throw the money it takes to land Tate, it then would have him and Indianapolis’ first-round draft pick in place of Richardson.”
This would be an interesting trade for the Browns, as it would give them a good replacement for Richardson and a first draft pick from the Colts next season. Currently the Browns are 27th in the league in rushing yards per game, so Tate could contribute right away there.
But this doesn’t seem like the best fit for a trade with Houston for two reasons: 1) the Browns need a starter at quarterback almost as much as they need a running back and 2) what would the Browns offer in return for Tate? I know I’m not exactly salivating over their current roster, so you can probably expect a first or second-round draft pick here.
But while we’re examining this rumor, let’s go ahead and examine some other trade possibilities for Tate and the Texans. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots are desperate for some help at the running back position, and Tate could certainly fit in with any of these teams. But which are the likeliest?
I think the Giants, Rams, Patriots and Dolphins are a lot more likely to trade for Tate than the Steelers or Jaguars. The Texans don’t want to trade within the division, and the Steelers don’t have too much to offer in a trade either.
Tate would really fit the Patriots’ passing game because he can catch and block, and the Giants are just desperate enough at this point to find someone who can hold onto the ball that I think they’d trade everything but the kitchen sink. But my money is on the Dolphins. They’re undefeated but not because of their run game. The Dolphins are averaging just 70.3 rushing yards per game.
Whatever happens, the Texans will probably have a very high price tag for Tate. I personally don’t think he’s going anywhere, but if he does I highly doubt the Browns are the team that lands him.