Former Texans running back Chris Ogbonnaya has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns, according to multiple sources, including Ogbonnaya’s agent JR Rickert.
Rickert said on Twitter today that, “Client @ChrisOgbonnaya is excited to join his new team, the Cleveland Browns!”.
Nothing has been confirmed by the Browns as of yet.
Browns head coach Pat Shurmur was with the St. Louis Rams as their offensive coordinator when the team drafted Ogbonnaya in the 7th Round of the 2009 Draft out of the University of Texas. Ogbonnaya spent the 2010 season with the Houston Texans where he was originally signed to the practice squad. The team re-signed him to the practice squad once again for the 2011 season, but was promoted to the active roster on September 27th. After being released and re-signed to the practice squad once again, the team finally cut Ogbonnaya for good, leaving the Browns free to sign him to their team.
As a part of the Texans active roster, Ogbonnaya was promoted to #2 on the depth chart behind Arian Foster for their match-up against the Raiders after Ben Tate and Derrick Ward were hampered with injuries. He recorded 3 carries and just 6 yards while on the Texans active roster.
It’s unclear what Ogbonnaya’s role with the team will be.
The addition of Ogbonnaya is sure to add to the Peyton Hillis rumors. Coach Shurmur has spent a majority of the season answering questions from the media about Hillis contract situation, and has been the go-to guy for questions pertaining to Hillis’ handling of the situation (missing the Miami game, a “tweaked hamstring” against Oakland). Compounding the problem has been Shurmur’s desire to play Montario Hardesty ahead of Peyton Hillis in key situations during games, despite his knack for dropping the ball.
Coach Shurmur told the media today that Hillis is not, in fact, on the trading block, though the media seems to think otherwise. Reports are swirling that the Dallas Cowboys are interested in Hillis now that Felix Jones has been sidelined with an ankle injury. If the reports are true, the Browns would send Hillis to Dallas for a 2nd Rd. pick, a wide receiver, and a running back (rumored to be Tashard Choice).
Should that trade scenario come to fruition, the Browns would have two 1st Rd. and 2nd Rd picks in next year’s NFL Draft.
No one knows for sure what’s going to happen with Hillis, and the signing of Chris Ogbonnaya could be a mere depth addition. Browns GM Tom Heckert, and President Mike Holmgren tend to keep things in-house, meaning that more often-than-not these rumors are false. One things for sure, this isn’t going to go away anytime soon, especially if the trade deadline comes and goes with Hillis still with the Browns.