According to ESPN’s Mike Wells, the Indianapolis Colts have already “begun conducting preliminary research” on recently released Cleveland Browns’ running back Ben Tate. Whether they’ll actually get to have him in horseshoe blue is another story, as sources close to Ben Tate indicate that he expects to be claimed by a team before the Colts are able to at #21 per a report by Bleacher Report’s NFL Reporter Jason Cole:
As you may recall, the NFL waiver order is done by record, worst to best, so there are a number of teams that will have “first dibs” on Tate before the Colts can place a successful claim given their winning record. Cole projects that an NFL bottom feeder such as the Raiders, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Titans, or Jets will put a successful claim on Ben Tate before the Colts get an opportunity to do so:
There’s no question that Ben Tate struggled with the Cleveland Browns this season, rushing on 106 carries for 333 rushing yards (3.1 ypc) and 4 touchdowns in 8 games. However, he is just one year removed from a pretty productive season with the Houston Texans, in which he rushed on 181 carries for 771 rushing yards and a 4.3 ypc average for 4 touchdowns in 14 games.
While the Colts may look to simply promote undrafted rookie running back Zurlon Tipton internally, who is currently on the practice squad, they have yet to do so. This indicates that they are at least willing to see how the Ben Tate waiver wire scenario plays out.
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Still only 26 years old and a former Texans’ 2nd round pick out of Auburn in 2010, Tate still has youth and talent in his favor. Yet, after being released by the Browns because of a poor attitude as a result of diminished playing time, he may be running out of second chances. It’s definintely a situation well-worth monitoring, and we should find out the waiver results shortly.
Personally, I think the Colts should definitely look into signing Ben Tate, but can understand why one would be against it.