After several days of back-and-forth, it appears Ben Tate has finally paid a visit to the Cleveland Browns. Earlier in the week there were reports of the RB heading to Cleveland, but the visit didn’t actually take place until Thursday night. It’s now mid day on Friday and word has yet to emerge on whether or not Tate has signed a deal.
Many think it’s a foregone conclusion that Tate will end up in Cleveland, but multiple days passing without a deal in place have me starting to think otherwise. No, it’s not because Tate isn’t talented enough to be the Browns starting RB, it’s likely because he wants to be paid like an elite running back.
Here’s a recent comment from the RB:
“I think I can bring you an elite running back. I’ve learned a lot being behind Arian. Definitely, when I’m healthy I think I’m an elite running back in this league, and I feel like I can show my abilities and my numbers and my play will speak for itself, and guys will be able to see that I am a guy who is a top five running back in this league, which I believe once I get out there and get to show that on a consistent basis.”
It’s a tough call for the Browns. They desperately need a franchise-type RB, but at the same time, they can’t overpay for one. Tate has shown that he’s a very good back so far in his career, but I’m not sold on him being top-tier.
He has all the tools to be successful and now he needs an opportunity. The Browns should give him that opportunity, but only at the right price. RBs aren’t nearly as valuable as they used to be and a guy like Tate isn’t worth breaking the bank for. But after Cleveland’s last failed attempt to draft a RB (Trent Richardson), the front office folks might be willing to pay a little extra for a somewhat proven free agent back.