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Brian Hartline to IR; Cleveland Browns Sign RB Richardson

The Cleveland Browns placed WR Brian Hartline on IR and signed a RB with the last name of Richardson...

Sadly, it isn't the return of the former 1st Round bust Trent Richardson, who the Browns turned into Johnny Manziel, but this running back Richardson is Daryl Richardson.

Brian Hartline has had a very good year for the Browns. He has 46 catches for 523 yards and 2 TDs. He played in 12 games for the Browns and eclipsed his 39 catches from the previous year with the Dolphins, in a full 16 games. While those numbers aren't huge, Hartline had come on strong in his last 4 games accumulating 30 receptions during that span. His comfort level in the team's offense was clearly improved.

Not bad on a reasonable contract. The Browns signed him for 2 years and $6 million. Hartline should return healthy next season and be a reliable option for the Browns as their, hopefully, third receiver.

Richardson is an interesting story. His rookie year, after being drafted in the 7th round out of Abilene Christian, he rushed for 475 yards on 98 carries. His 4.8 YPC average gave some hope he could be an impactful back. Instead he only played 8 games with the Rams in 2013ith a 3.1 YPC average, and hasn't recorded an offensive stat since.

He showed some pass catching ability, 38 receptions in 24 games, but has not scored a touchdown in his career.

Since the Rams, Richardson has been on the Jets and Texans practice squad.

The Browns have Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson at the top of their depth chart but Glenn Winston is in the concussion protocol and lost his only carry Sunday to a fumble. Not exactly a solid third option going into Sunday.

Whether Richardson will have enough comfort with the team's offense to play this week will be interesting. Especially concerning would be his role in pass protection. The Browns won't want to tip their hands that they are running with him in the lineup. 

As long as Crow and Duke stay healthy, Richardson won't be needed much. He also isn't much of a long term play for the team. The flash from his rookie season in 2012 seems like a lifetime ago.

The Browns press release says as follows:

BEREA, Ohio – The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday signed RB Daryl Richardson and placed WR Brian Hartline (clavicle) on injured reserve.  

Hartline underwent successful surgery today by Head Team Physician Dr. James Voos at University Hospital. He appeared in 12 games this season and totaled 46 receptions for 523 yards and two touchdowns. Over his last four games, he averaged 7.5 receptions and 85.3 yards per game. He broke his collarbone on Sunday against San Francisco after registering eight catches for 107 yards.  

Richardson is a 5-10, 200-pound veteran officially in his third NFL season out of Abilene Christian. Originally a seventh round pick by St. Louis in 2012, Richardson has appeared in 24 career games with three starts. He has totaled 690 rushing yards on 167 attempts and 38 receptions for 284 yards. He has spent time this season on the Jets and Texans practice squads. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Hall graduated from Sandalwood High School.

Overall, the Browns lost a talented WR who was really coming on and once again changed who their third running back will be. So far Terrance WestRobert Turbin and Winston haven't been the answer. Maybe Richardson will show something.

Maybe the Browns draft another back, a bruiser type, next year.

Are you surprised by Hartline's late season production? Any concerns about the Browns RB depth chart?


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