Browns Attempted to Trade for New Running Back During Draft: Report

D'Andre Swift

Getty The Browns were interested in trading for D'Andre Swift.

The Cleveland Browns investigated a trade for disgruntled Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift during the 2023 NFL draft, but ultimately the price was too high.

The report of the Browns’ interest in Swift comes via Cleveland Browns Daily host Nathan Zegura, who also serves as a color analyst for the team.

Brad Stainbrook of the Orange and Brown Report also chimed in on the Browns’ interest, revealing in a tweet on May 1 that the team is investigating their backup running back options.

“Browns remain in the market for a backup running back. They’ve explored plenty of options this offseason, including players like D’Andre Swift,” Stainbrook tweeted. “They’ve also touched base with young veterans on the free agency market, which remains the most likely option.”

Swift was a second-round pick of the Lions in 2020. He’s rushed for 1,680 yards and 18 touchdowns over three seasons. The Lions drafted Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs 12th overall, which opened the door for Swift to be dealt.

The Philadelphia Eagles ended up landing Swift, giving up a fourth-round pick in 2025 and a seventh-rounder for his services. The defending NFC champs also got a seventh-round pick in return with their new running back. The Browns were slim on draft picks and did not want to further empty their war chest.

Browns Could Reunite With Kareem Hunt or Ink Another Veteran

Kareem Hunt

Getty ImagesFree agent running back Kareem Hunt.

Nick Chubb is the unquestioned lead back in Cleveland but there are questions behind him on the depth chart. Second-year running back Jerome Ford is expected to take on a larger role but the elite depth the Browns once had at the position is gone.

One option for the Browns could be to re-sign Kareem Hunt, who spent the last four seasons in Cleveland. The Browns and Hunt appeared set to part ways in free agency but the former rushing leader remains a free agent with little interest coming his way.

Hunt had a turbulent final season with the Browns, which included a trade request and a drop in production. Hunt finished last season with 468 yards on 123 carries, with his overall effectiveness as a change of pace to Nick Chubb waning.

His per-carry average of 3.8 was the worst of his career and his opportunities tapered off later in the year. It wasn’t pretty but the Browns aren’t shutting the door on the possibility.

“I don’t know that we’ve necessarily shut the door on anything,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said prior to the draft. “Look, we’re not playing games until September, so we’ll remain open-minded to anything that can help the team.”

Some other interesting veterans remain available, including Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott.

Browns Clear Roster Is Not Done Taking Shape

Andrew Berry of the Browns

Getty ImagesCleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry talks to owner Jimmy Haslam.

The draft and a busy chunk of free agency are over. However, the Browns are still remaining active trying to shape their roster with key pieces.

“For us, while we will maybe take a breath after [the draft] is finished and when we sign a number of undrafted free agents, it really is just that we still have work to do on the roster,” Berry said on April 29. “We will explore every opportunity, trade, veteran market to continue to add depth and competition to all spots.”

The Browns created some competition at some key positions through their draft picks. Defensive tackle will get interesting following the selection on Siaki Ika, as will the receiver depth chart after the addition of Cedric Tillman, who the Browns selected No. 74 overall.

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