Willis McGahee Passes Physical, Signs with Cleveland Browns

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2013

A day after trading Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first-round pick, the Cleveland Browns have announced the signing of veteran free agent Willis McGahee:

Jeff Darlington of NFL.com initially reported that McGahee has passed his physical and joined the team:

Darlington adds that McGahee expects to play in Week 3, though how much playing time he will receive remains unclear at this time:

 Nate Ulrich of The Akron Beacon-Journal adds that the running back will be on the field on Sunday.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the system McGahee will play in is going to be similar to what he played in Baltimore:

McGahee will compete for the starting gig with running back Bobby Rainey—who has yet to register a carry in the regular season during his two-year career—and fullback Chris Ogbonnaya. In other words, fantasy-football owners will want to add McGahee immediately if he's still available. 

McGahee had a total of 193 touches (167 carries, 26 receptions) for the Denver Broncos last year, accumulating 952 yards and four touchdowns. But given his age (he'll be 32 in October), his injury history and the selection of Montee Ball in the 2013 draft—with Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno already on the roster—the Broncos cut him this offseason. 

Now, the man who has accumulated 9,416 yards yards from scrimmage and 68 touchdowns in his career has a new NFL gig.

The signing of McGahee isn't going to soothe those Browns fans who are justifiably angry at their team for essentially tanking this season after two weeks, which is what the Richardson trade signifies. It's pretty unfathomable to think that the Browns have moved on from the third overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft just two games into his sophomore season.

But McGahee is a consummate professional and a running back that can be utilized on all three downs, so his signing makes plenty of sense. 

He averaged a decent 4.4 yards per carry last season and is a capable pass-blocker out of the backfield, so his presence can only benefit the Browns. However, on an offense that now only has Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron as its primary weapons—and Brandon Weeden as its quarterback once he returns from injury—McGahee certainly won't offer game-breaking ability. 

But at this point, the Browns faithful won't be expecting much. If recent history tells us anything, the fans have been trained to keep their expectations low.

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