Browns sign RB Willis McGahee

Browns sign McGahee to replace Richardson in backfield

9/19/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

What is a team supposed to do when they lose their best offensive player just two weeks into the season and have no viable in-house replacements? For the Cleveland Browns - who traded 2012 third overall pick Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday - the answer lies in free agency, where 2011 Pro Bowl running back Willis McGahee was waiting for a team to pick him up off the streets.

Blog Photo - Browns sign RB Willis McGaheeThe Browns agreed to terms with McGahee on Thursday, and the 31-year-old back is immediately the favorite to lead Cleveland in carries this season. He is unlikely to take on a major role in Week 3, as he'll have only two full days to prepare and is likely not in game shape, but his competition for carries - Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey - is hardly "competition" at all.

McGahee has spent the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos, the second of which was cut short due to a brutal knee injury. He suffered a torn MCL and broken leg in November of 2012, and did not play for the rest of the season. His production with the Broncos was still strong, however, as he ran for 77.2 yards per game and scored nine touchdowns across 25 contests.

There are still questions as to whether or not McGahee can carry a heavy workload at this point in his career, as he is coming off a serious injury and will turn 32 years old (that's like 80 in running back years) in October. Regardless, he passed his physical with the Browns and the team hopes that he has something left in the tank to help them salvage something out of what has the look of a lost season.

While McGahee may look like a savvy pickup off the waiver wire in fantasy leagues, you're in trouble if you feel the need to insert him into your starting lineup. If the sensational 23-year-old Trent Richardson could not produce with the Browns, it's hard to see McGahee having much success with them. The offense simply does not have enough weapons to create running lanes for their backs. McGahee is worth rostering in fantasy leagues, but is simply a mediocre bye week/injury fill-in.
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