The Browns drafted Nick Chubb at No. 35 overall to join Hyde and Duke Johnson in the backfield, Bud Shaw of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Hyde probably isn't surprised by the addition, considering he acknowledged the possibility of Cleveland drafting Saquon Barkley shortly after signing a three-year, $15 million contract in mid-March. With Johnson locked in as the top pass-catching back on the heels of a breakout 2017 campaign, Hyde and Chubb will be left to battle for early down work during training camp. Hyde's contract only contains $5 million guaranteed, with all of that money being paid this year, per OverTheCap. He'll have a tough time making it to the second season of the deal, unless Chubb turns out to be a massive disappointment. Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley should have plenty of weapons at his disposal this upcoming season.
Hyde said that Saquon Barkley would be a good addition to the Browns, Nate Ulrich of The Akron Beacon-Journal reports. "Saquon would be a nice addition to the team, another guy who can out and make big plays," Hyde said. "Use all the weapons you can. If he comes here, the more the better, so he'd definitely be a great addition." Hyde's three-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland is a minor surprise, as the team already had Duke Johnson on the roster and owns two of the first four picks in a draft in which Barkley almost certainly will be a top-five selection. It does seem Hyde took a discount to return to his home state, perhaps giving the Browns a bargain that was too good to pass on. Both he and Browns general manager John Dorsey have acknowledged that the signing doesn't rule out the possibility of the team drafting Barkley. It would be tough to envision Hyde getting more than 5-10 touches per game in such a scenario, unless the team were to find a trade for Johnson. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Johnson reportedly was discussing an extension prior to the start of free agency. We'll have a much better read on the Cleveland backfield once the draft is complete, though a Hyde-Johnson duo would make a lot of sense, considering Johnson's impressive work on passing downs corresponds with Hyde's weakness.
Hyde agreed to terms Wednesday with the Browns on a three-year, $15 million contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The 49ers had reached out to Hyde about a possible extension earlier this month, but after those talks stalled out, the running back hit the open market and didn't take long to find a suitor. With Cleveland's top back from last season, Isaiah Crowell, headed to the Jets, Hyde is projected to handle most of the early-down work for his new team, while Duke Johnson earns most of the reps out of the backfield on passing downs. Hyde saw his efficiency drop to 3.9 yards per carry last season, though he made up for it to some extent with a career-best eight scores on the ground. According to ESPN. the Browns' signing of Hyde won't result in the team eliminating Penn State's Saquon Barkley, the consensus top running-back prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft, from their draft board. The Browns hold the Nos. 1 and 4 overall picks in April.
Hyde is in contract discussions with the 49ers, but general manager John Lynch said nothing is imminent, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports. Hyde finally stayed healthy for all 16 games last season and established a new career-high mark of 1,290 scrimmage yards, but he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry and a miserable 4.0 yards per target, while undrafted rookie Matt Breida managed 4.4 per carry and 5.0 per target. With Hyde a holdover from the previous regime and 2017 fourth-round pick Joe Williams (ankle) believed to be healthy, the Niners are unlikely to break the bank to retain their veteran starter. Hyde might consider taking a slight hometown discount, as he hinted at a desire to stay in San Francisco in December when he said the team should be in contention for a Super Bowl in 2018.
Hyde toted the rock 15 times for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 34-13 win over the Rams on Sunday. He added two catches (four targets) for 10 receiving yards. Hyde saved his best fantasy performance of the season for last, taking advantage of an already-porous Rams run defense that was without Aaron Donald and several other imposing presences in the middle of their unit. This was the first time the veteran reached the combined 100-yard mark since Week 10, and it was his first multi-score contest since accomplishing the feat against the Redskins back in Week 6. The 26-year-old will miss the 1,000-yard plateau yet again (940 rushing yards) after falling short by 12 yards in 2016, but his career-high 350 receiving yards off an unexpected 88 targets produced what was arguably his most fantasy-friendly campaign to date. Assuming the 49ers don't work out an extension, Hyde will hit the open market this offseason in the prime of his career. He did yeoman's work behind one of the league's inferior offensive lines and with three different quarterbacks under center, so a change of scenery could potentially boost his value if he can avoid a committee situation. Even if he were to remain in San Francisco, the case could be made that a full season with the impressive Jimmy Garoppolo would be a boon to his value regardless.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/16||@New Orleans Saints||12||17.22|
|3||09/21||New York Jets||24||18.50|
|6||10/14||Los Angeles Chargers||23||18.38|
|7||10/21||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||19.13|
|9||11/04||Kansas City Chiefs||20||17.76|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||191||799||6||32||189||1||137|