Carlos Hyde left the 49ers for the Browns this offseason as a free agent, and he's expected to share touches with Duke Johnson and rookie Nick Chubb. It's not an ideal situation, but Hyde will likely be the starter and handle the majority of work on rushing downs. Chubb will be a factor in that scenario, and Hyde should see a decline in his production as a receiver because of Johnson. In 2017, Hyde had the most work of his career and finished with over 1,200 total yards and eight touchdowns. Part of that was 59 catches for 350 yards, and those stats will be hard to replicate. We'll see how the Browns plan to use Chubb, and hopefully Hyde can still get enough touches to be a quality Fantasy option. But his Fantasy outlook is lower with his move to Cleveland as long as Chubb and Johnson stay healthy. We still like Hyde as a No. 3 running back/flex option with the Browns, but he's only worth drafting in Round 7 in standard leagues and Round 8 or later in PPR.
Hyde took nine carries for 64 yards and a touchdown and lost five yards on one reception in Friday's preseason loss to the Bills. Hyde and Duke Johnson split snaps with the first-team offense, only giving way to Nick Chubb after Baker Mayfield replaced Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. Chubb finished with 53 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, but his usage supports the general expectation that he'll start the season behind the pair of veterans. Hyde still carries limited upside, as Johnson is locked in on passing downs and Chubb has more than enough talent to push for a significant role.
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.
|* 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|