Ben Tate RB CLE 4 Months

Ben Tate's contract with the Browns contains $750,000 in per-game roster bonuses.

Due to durability concerns, the Browns structured the deal in a way that will keep Tate highly motivated to stay on the field. He got a $1.5 million signing bonus and a $1 million guaranteed base salary in 2014, and then will earn $46,875 for every game he's active. Those per-game bonuses are also in the contract for 2015. Tate has missed 24 games in his four-year career due to ankle, hamstring, foot and rib injuries.

Ben Tate RB CLE 4 Months6 Comments

ESPN Cleveland says the Browns' concerns about Ben Tate's durability led to a team-friendly two-year deal.

Ben Tate RB CLE 4 Months1 Comment

Browns agreed to terms with RB Ben Tate, formerly of the Texans, on a two-year contract.

Tate was the best running back on the market, but the Browns were the only team to make a public run. Extremely injury prone through the first four years of his career, Tate's contract is expected to be incentive-based. Coming from the Texans' zone-blocking scheme, Tate is a fit for fellow ZBS OC Kyle Shanahan, but will have to prove he can stay on the field before anything else. Although Tate has impressive burst, his game lacks wiggle. He's a downhill runner who will need his blocking to click to have the breakout year many have long expected. Despite the question marks, Tate and his career 4.7 YPC have definite RB2 potential in 2014.

Ben Tate RB CLE 5 Months2 Comments

Free agent Ben Tate will sign with Cleveland today if he passes his physical.

The proposed contract is performance-based, meaning Tate will have to stay on the field to get paid. That has been a problem for Tate in his career. He already has two IR stints in four years and struggled through several nagging injuries in 2013. When healthy, Tate has the talent to make a difference in an improving Browns' offense. He is on the RB2 radar for 2014.

Ben Tate RB CLE 5 Months

Free agent Ben Tate is in Cleveland on Thursday for his Browns visit.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports Tate's visit, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was delayed by weather. There's still a chance Tate signs on his first visit. Tate is our top free agent running back still available, followed by Andre Brown, Knowshon Moreno, Maurice Jones-Drew, James Starks, LeGarrette Blount, and Anthony Dixon. It's not a good year to be a free agent back.

Ben Tate RB CLE 5 Months1 Comment

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Browns are hosting Ben Tate for a free agent visit.

The free agent market has been established for running backs at three years, $10.5 million -- or at least that's what Toby Gerhart (Jaguars) and Donald Brown (Chargers) both received. Tate is still only 25 years old, and could be more willing to play on a one-year, "prove it" deal as a feature back in Cleveland. He needs to "prove" to teams that he can stay healthy for 16 games. Kyle Shanahan's rushing attack would be an excellent fit for his running skills.

Ben Tate RB CLE 5 Months

Free agent Ben Tate said that when healthy he is a "top-five running back in this league."

The when healthy is an important caveat. Tate already has two IR stints in his four-year career and has yet to survive a full 16 game slate despite playing primarily as a backup. Tate is the best available running back in an underwhelming class, but his injury history makes it unlikely he breaks the bank in free agency.

Ben Tate RB CLE 5 Months

ESPN New York "hears" the Jets are "exploring" free agents Ben Tate and Donald Brown.

Odd. The Jets' running back situation is about the only one that appears to be set on the offensive side of the ball, with Chris Ivory an early-down pounder and Bilal Powell working best as a passing-down back. However, we know coach Rex Ryan is a big believer in running the ball down the defense's throat. Tate is the top free-agent back but is extremely injury-prone like Ivory.

Ben Tate RB CLE 7 Months

Browns GM Mike Lombardi was high on impending free agent Ben Tate when Tate came out of Auburn in 2010.

We have special insight into Lombardi's past thoughts because he wrote for National Football Post before working at NFL Network, and eventually landing in Cleveland. Of Tate, Lombardi wrote "He has an ability to hit the hole with a burst and is a one-cut runner," going so far as to predict Tate would win 2010 Rookie of the Year. Lombardi also liked fellow impending free agent Anthony Dixon, whom he called a "good back ... who can run the power play effectively ... and has the ability to break tackles."

Ben Tate RB CLE 7 Months

Impending free agent Ben Tate reiterated Monday that he does not expect to re-sign with the Texans.

The Texans need a quarterback, among other positions, and will get back Arian Foster for 2014. 25-year-old Tate isn't going to break the bank coming off a mediocre, injury-plagued contract year in Houston, but should surface as a 2014 starter. The Browns are among the teams expected to pursue him.