BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns on Saturday agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent Ben Tate. General Manager Ray Farmer made the announcement.
Tate is the fifth player signed by the Browns in the new league year, which began Tuesday. A weapon out of the Cleveland backfield, he has averaged 4.7 yards per carry in his young NFL career.
A 5-10, 220-pound running back entering his fifth NFL season out of Auburn, Tate has spent the past four years (2010-13) with the Houston Texans, where he ranked third on the franchise’s all-time rushing list with 1,992 yards in 40 games. He also played in three Houston playoff games.
Originally Houston’s second-round pick (58th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft, Tate has 10 career rushing touchdowns and five 100-yard rushing games, while adding 58 receptions for 287 yards.
Last season, Tate led the Texans with 771 rushing yards, while playing in 14 games with seven starts before being placed on injured reserve with cracked ribs. In a near upset vs. New England Dec. 1 in Houston, Tate tied a franchise record with three rushing touchdowns.
Tate missed the 2010 season after an ankle injury during the first preseason game. The following season, he rebounded to post a career-high 942 yards on 175 carries (5.4 avg.).
In college at Auburn, he appeared in 47 career games and rushed for 3,321 yards on 678 carries (4.9 avg.) with 24 touchdowns, and added 53 receptions for 336 yards. A native of Sallsbury, Md., Tate attended Snow High School.