Clarett a Brown? He wants a shot
The Browns included with their announcement of the stunning trade of running back Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first-round pick with another bit of surprising news.
In addition to shipping out the No. 3 pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, they are bringing in the 23rd pick of the 2003 draft for a physical. That would be Willis McGahee, a nine-year pro who began his career in Buffalo and has also played for Baltimore and Denver.
As it turns out, he is not the only player to wear a Broncos uniform interested in joining the Browns now that they have a void in the backfield.
Maurice Clarett, a northeast Ohio native and one-year star at Ohio State before his life went awry, went to Twitter to offer his services to the club shortly after the Richardson trade became public.
@Browns can I get a workout? I still have plenty of mileage on these legs..!!!!!!— Maurice Clarett (@ReeseClarett13) September 18, 2013
As fate would have it, Clarett and McGahee have crossed paths before. They were the starting running backs in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, an epic double-overtime thriller that saw Clarett's second-ranked Buckeyes shock heavily favored Miami (Fla.) and McGahee 31-24 to win the 2002 national championship.
Clarett scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime that night after McGahee suffered a gruesome knee injury that knocked him out of the game.
Neither played another college contest, and their lives took quite divergent paths after that night in the Arizona desert.
McGahee sat out the 2003 season with the Bills but went on to rush for 3,365 yards in three seasons for the club before going to Baltimore, where he made the Pro Bowl in 2007 before seeing his role diminish over the following three seasons. He had 2,802 yards rushing as a Raven then logged 1,930 yards the past two seasons in Denver.
Clarett left Ohio State during the 2003 season amid allegations he committed numerous NCAA violations. After unsuccessfully suing the league for early admission to the NFL draft only two years out of high school, he was a third-round pick of the Broncos in 2005 but was cut in training camp.
After doing time in prison for armed robbery, Clarett played two seasons in the United Football League but has not had another shot in the NFL. Earlier this year, he revealed he has turned his talents to rugby and is bidding to make Team USA for the 2016 Olympics.
And he sounds confident he could help the 0-2 Browns right now.
@Browns I had behavior problems that I cleaned up. Never had playing problems.— Maurice Clarett (@ReeseClarett13) September 18, 2013