Jackson is coming off a down year with the Detroit Lions but has served as a solid backup in the past with the Los Angeles Chargers. He has 1,210 yards on 248 carries, giving him a stellar 4.9 per carry average.
The Browns have been in contact with Jackson, per Noah Schaefer.
“The Browns have been in contact with long-time Chargers and former Lions free agent running back Justin Jackson,” Schaefer tweeted. “The career backup has never eclipsed 500 yards, but has a career average of 4.9 yards per carry and is exceptional in the passing game.”
The report was corroborated by Brad Stainbrook of the Orange and Brown Report, who previously had tweeted that the Browns were investigating their options for a backup running back.
“This is correct. One of many options the team is considering,” Stainbrook tweeted.
Kareem Hunt Among Veteran Options For Browns
The Browns have some options in terms of veteran free agent options, although a notable name the Cleveland could bring on is a familiar one in Kareem Hunt. He spent the last four seasons with the Browns, although his final one was rough.
He gained just 468 yards on 123 carries in 2022. His per carry average also declined to 3.8 yards, which was the lowest in his career. Additionally, he received fewer opportunities as the season progressed, with the team leaning heavier on Nick Chubb.
Browns general manager Andrew Berry was asked about reuniting with Hunt and didn’t shut down the idea.
“I don’t know that we’ve necessarily shut the door on anything,” Berry said when asked specifically about Hunt. “Look, we’re not playing games until September, so we’ll remain open-minded to anything that can help the team.”
Berry was also very complimentary of the running backs the team has on the roster now, most notably Chubb.
“We like the room that we have, obviously, Nick leads it. Pleased with Jerome’s (Ford) progress over the last year,” Berry said. “John Kelly, [Nate] McCreary, Demetric (Felton), taking reps there.”
Browns Wanting to Create Competition at Every Position
The Browns seem willing to give Ford an expanded role in the offense but they’re also not ready to just hand it over. Bringing in a veteran with a respectable resume would create some much-needed competition in the backfield, which has been a focus for Berry and Co.
“Well, hopefully, we have taken a big step there,” Berry said after the draft. “I mean, I think any player that you bring into the organization, whether it’s through draft, whether it through free agency, whether it’s through a trade or some other means, you are hopeful that you can easier raise the floor and/or ceiling a position group.”
The Browns did not draft a running back but did sign undrafted free agent Hassan Hall. He notched 521 yards last season as the lead back with Georgia Tech. He also caught 28 passes for 165 yards.