Cleveland Browns Sign Back McGahee to Replace Traded Richardson

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent running back Willis McGahee, filling the spot created two days ago when the team traded away starter Trent Richardson.

McGahee, who gained 731 yards in 10 games for the Denver Broncos last season before injuring his knee, joined the Browns last night, the team said on its website.

His signing came a day after the Browns made a rare in-season trade, sending Richardson, who was selected by Cleveland with the No. 3 pick in the National Football League draft last year, to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first-round pick.

McGahee was also a first-round pick, taken 23rd in 2003. He’s rushed for 8,097 yards in 130 regular-season games, scoring 63 touchdowns and surpassing 1,000 yards in four seasons.

McGahee and Ricky Watters are the only running backs to have 1,000-yard rushing campaigns for three different franchises. McGahee ran for 1,199 in 2011, his first season in Denver; 1,207 with the Baltimore Ravens in 2007; and 1,128 with the Buffalo Bills in 2004.

The Broncos released McGahee in June after selecting Montee Ball in the second round of the draft. McGahee tore a knee ligament in November.

The Browns visit the Minnesota Vikings in two days in a meeting of 0-2 teams.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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