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Isaiah Crowell Signs RFA Tender with Browns

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 11, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 01:  Isaiah Crowell #34 of the Cleveland Browns rushes against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter during the game at Heinz Field on January 1, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

After waiting out the offseason trying to find a new contract, running back Isaiah Crowell will return to the Cleveland Browns in 2017. 

Per Universal Sports Management, Crowell signed his second-round tender as a restricted free agent to remain under contract with the Browns.

An undrafted free agent out of Alabama State, Crowell has been with the Browns for the past three years. He set career highs in starts (16), carries (198), rushing yards (952), yards per attempt (4.8), receptions (40) and receiving yards (319) during the 2016 season.

One possible area of concern for Crowell going forward is how top heavy his rushing performance was last season, with Pro Football Focus Fantasy offering the stats:

PFF Fantasy Football @PFF_Fantasy

47.5 percent of Isaiah Crowell’s rushing yards this season came on 16 carries.

There were games when Crowell disappeared last season. He had a three-week stretch from Week 9 through 11 with a combined 37 yards on 23 carries but ended on a high note with 152 yards in Week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Playing for a Cleveland team that went 1-15 and lacked talent on both sides of the ball didn't help Crowell's effort, so the fact he was able to post the numbers he did speaks well of his talent. 

The Browns didn't do much to boost their running back stable in the offseason, though they did draft Matt Dayes out of North Carolina State in the seventh round. 

At just 24 years old with only 531 attempts under his belt, Crowell figures to get better in the coming years. The Browns are only going to get better after bottoming out last season, so building around young playmakers is an essential piece of the puzzle. 

Crowell also displayed excellent receiving skills last season, so there is more to his game than just taking handoffs. He was a breakout star in 2016 with the potential to become a full-blown workhorse for the Browns next season. 

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