The Cleveland Browns made a head-scratching move in trading Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a reported fifth-round pick. I don’t understand this at all. Carlos Hyde was getting too many of the carries and it was frustrating to see the team underutilize Duke Johnson and rookie Nick Chubb. Still, this seems like about as inelegant a solution to that problem as you could possibly muster. The Browns took a position where they had supreme depth that also helps to mitigate some of the risks for a rookie quarterback, and they threw it away for a speculative pick and some cap relief they didn’t need. They created downside injury risk and decreased their margin for error, and it appears that they did so in order to solve a playing time issue.
51% of the Browns backfield snaps just opened up with the Carlos Hyde trade news.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 19, 2018
I don’t like to get into speculation, but this might be the first major appearance of disagreement between the power brokers inside the Cleveland Browns. Hue Jackson is on record saying the Browns need to get Chubb more work. He’s been saying it consistently and yet Todd Haley continues to give the majority of the carries to Carlos Hyde. And now Hyde finds himself traded to the Jags for a pick that doesn’t seem all that worthwhile.
Is this Dorsey forcing the coaches to play a guy?
Is this Dorsey taking a side between Hue Jackson and his coordinator, Todd Haley?
Is there another player on the roster that they feel comfortable as a third option should either Chubb or Johnson miss any time due to injury?
Do they love Dontrell Hilliard?
Is this a coaching staff and front office working together on the same page?
The last option seems least likely.
Carlos Hyde should have seen his opportunities continue to get squeezed by Johnson and Chubb, but with the injury rate in the NFL and at the running back position, in particular, this seems like an awfully strange move for a team looking to establish itself without the need for cap relief. Seems like a bad solution to what we thought was a good problem.
At least one Cleveland Browns player, Demarious Randall, has already reacted negatively on Twitter.