To say that Isaiah Crowell's contract year hasn't gotten off to the best start might be an understatement. Through two weeks, the Cleveland Browns running back has totaled just 70 rushing yards on 27 attempts.
Those numbers rank Crowell 31st in the league in rushing and 43rd in yards per attempt and he's still yet to score his first touchdown of 2017. To complicate matters, the fourth-year running back is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, which is something Crowell admitted on Wednesday has been weighing on his mind heavily.
"During the game, after the game, before the game, right now, all the time,'' Crowell told reporters when asked how often he thinks about his potential payday at season's end. "It's just obvious to think about.''
But if Crowell, a former undrafted free agent, is going to capitalize on his upcoming free agency, he's likely going to need numbers better than what he's produced in the past two weeks. It also hasn't helped his cause that Cleveland has attempted just 49 run plays compared to 70 pass plays on the season.
Crowell thinks about that too -- after all, it does affect his potential payday.
"I wouldn't say upset, but sometimes I question it," Crowell said of the team's play-calling. "Everybody has their own opinions. I have my own opinions. You might have your own opinions. Hue Jackson has his own opinions."
Speaking at his Wednesday press conference, the second-year Browns head coach shared some of those thoughts. And while Jackson said he had no issue with Crowell looking for more carries, he also stated that if he gets them, he better make the most of them.
“I have no problem with anybody walking in the office and saying, ‘Coach, give me the ball,’" Jackson said. "Now, that being said, you better make the plays when you get them, OK? There is another responsibility that comes with that. I start handing it to you 25-30 times, I am looking for 160-150 yards and a couple of long scores. That is just how we do it.”
With 14 games left until he hits the open market, Crowell and the Cleveland run game still have plenty of time to get on track. Their next opportunity to do just that will come on Sunday, when the Browns take on the Indianapolis Colts at 1 p.m.
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