The Cleveland Browns are still investigating their free agent options for the backfield, bringing in former Denver Broncos running back Devine Ozigbo for a workout on Thursday.
The report of Ozigbo’s workout comes via Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston. Ozigbo has some NFL experience, appearing in games with the Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints and most recently the Broncos. However, he hasn’t had much work as a ball carrier, with just 14 carries and 29 yards to his name over his NFL career.
The Browns could be looking at Ozigbo as more of a special teams contributor, which he has done previously in his career on kick coverage teams. New special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone has been on the hunt for players who can contribute to his units.
“I would say the traits that you look for in special teams players is you want to have aggressive, tough, smart, disciplined players who understand how the game is being officiated and how the game needs to be played,” Ventrone said during his introductory press conference in March. ““My message to the team is going to be, ‘Look if we are going to be a good unit top to bottom, we need contributions from everybody.”
If Ozigbo is signed, he’ll join Nick Chubb, Jerome Ford, Demetric Felton and John Kelly on the depth chart. The Browns also brought in undrafted free agent Hassan Hall to compete for a spot.
Browns Also Taking Look at Richmond RB Aaron Dykes
The Browns also wanted a closer look at undrafted free agent Aaron Dykes, who played his college football at Richmond. Dykes was a dual-threat option for the Spiders, picking up 772 rushing yards as well as 196 receiving in his final season. He was also a strong option in the return game and finished his career at Richmond with 1,802 return yards.
Like Ozigbo, Dykes is likely being looked at as more of a special teams contributor, especially as a return man. The Browns already have some solid options — from Jerome Ford to Jakeem Grant — but Ventrone is still working out his depth chart.
“I am excited about Donovan Peoples-Jones as a ball handler. Jakeem Grant, we are hoping that he is back and healthy. (Jaelon) Darden, who they acquired later in the season last year form Tampa, is another good ball handler and returner,” Ventrone said. “I am excited about the group I have to work with.”
As far as the running back position, various rumors have popped up in recent weeks linking the Browns to veteran running backs. Ezekiel Elliott has surfaced as a potential option — although the validity of the rumor has been debated — and a reunion with Kareem Hunt is still on the table.
Browns Players Working Out in Puerto Rico
There’s a chunk of the Browns players who aren’t in Berea for voluntary workouts this week. Deshaun Watson is hosting about a dozen of his offensive teammates in Puerto Rico for some bonding time.
Included in the trip are receivers Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, Anthony Schwartz, Jakeem Grant and Jaelon Darden. Tight end David Njoku, RBs Nick Chubb, John Kelly and Demetric Felton, as well as backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs are also in attendance.
The Browns will have a bit of an extended preseason slate once things get rolling. Cleveland will play in the Hall of Fame game, with franchise legend Joe Thomas being inducted this year. The team will also spend the first eight days of training camp at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.