For some fans, the signing of Hyde also appears to have answered the question about the Browns using either the number one overall pick or the fourth overall pick of the 2018 draft on running back Saquon Barkley, who is arguably the top prospect in this year's draft. Reports indicate the fifth-year pro has agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.
Hyde spent his first four years in the National Football League with the 49ers and he rushed for just under 1,000 yards in his past two seasons. He rushed for a career-high 988 yards in 2016 and undoubtedly would have had a 1,000-yard season if he had not missed three games.
He'll join Duke Johnson in the Browns backfield and will be part of an offense that's also adding wide receiver Jarvis Landry and quarterback Tyrod Taylor in a pair of trades. He later went on to play collegiately for the Ohio State Buckeyes from 2010-2013. "Nobody is ruled out", the source said of the way the Browns view the draft board. Hyde had four coaches in his four seasons with the 49ers. Having their choice of players at No. 2 allows them to either take arguably the most polarizing player in the last decade of NFL Drafts, or they can trade out of the spot to acquire more value.
Adding Hyde could mean the Browns will wait for the second round to take a back.
They did address some of their depth at the position on Tuesday, signing veteran running back Jonathan Stewart to a two-year deal for $6.9 million with $2.95 million guaranteed.
The Browns needed to sign a back, though, because Isaiah Crowell left via free agency. Crowell lamented not getting the ball more the past two seasons under coach Hue Jackson. He can get tough yards, though, which was one of the criticisms of Crowell. Hyde averaged at least 4 yards per carry in three of his four seasons, and last season was at 3.91.