Suddenly, Jonathan Dwyer became a free agent. Something of a surprise release Saturday, Dwyer now finds himself in a very marketable positions - especially with two of the Steelers' biggest rivals.
The Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens.
The question is whether both teams - that have interesting current running back depth charts - can get Dwyer the ball along with the right amount of bucks for his efforts. Clearly, Dwyer would be a depth-add on both teams (read: zero chance he starts barring injury). But he'd fit fairly well in both places, to say nothing of his knowledge of their enemy.
Cleveland Plain-Dealer columnist Terry Pluto quoted Browns coach Rob Chudzynski Saturday,"this is our August 31 roster, not necessarily our September 8 roster." The Browns currently have Brandon Jackson as their primary back-up to oft-injured Trent Richardson. With a small fortune in cap space, and arguably the thinnest running back depth in the NFL, it seems only natural Dwyer would head down the road a few miles, where the Browns can pay him handsomely as a back-up and a Steelers' tendencies-decoder.
The Ravens kept two fullbacks, Vonta Leach and rookie Kyle Juszczyk, but only two halfbacks, Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. It's not quite the obvious need the Browns have, and Dwyer wouldn't likely get much action behind Pierce and Rice - assuming everyone is healthy.
Make no mistake, Dwyer's release was as much salary-based than level of ability. Teams will want to sign him for somewhere around the mid-level minimum. It'd be a surprise if he made anywhere close to the $1.3 million he was scheduled to make in Pittsburgh.
If Cleveland in particular was compelled to dip into their Yosemite of cap space, they could make the more competitive offer between themselves and the Browns. Those wouldn't be Dwyer's only options, assuming both would be interested.
There's always the Cardinals and the Bills, who have standard operating procedures in place to at least sniff around any former Steelers. Both teams appear set for the time being, although the Bills cut down to 50 players Saturday, giving them some roster space, at least.
Many teams are taking the same approach as Chudzynski mentioned with the Browns, so Dwyer might be hopping a plane or two Sunday.
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