Former WSU running back swapped for Mike Bell
BEREA, Ohio — Jerome Harrison finally broke free on another long run.
Disappointed with his role in Cleveland’s offense this season, Harrison was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday for Mike Bell in an exchange of running backs.
The Eagles announced the deal, issuing a press release. The Browns would only confirm the trade, with a spokesman saying it was contingent on both players passing physicals.
Harrison, a standout college player with Washington State, thought this season would be so much more after rushing for a club record 286 yards — the third-most in NFL history — against Kansas City last season and gaining 561 yards in Cleveland’s final three games.
The 5-foot-9, 205-pounder figured he had finally proved himself worthy of being an every-down back, but the Browns obviously didn’t think so when they traded for Peyton Hillis during the offseason and drafted Montario Hardesty in the second round.
On Sunday, Harrison gained just six yards on six attempts in a loss to Atlanta. One week earlier, he didn’t get a carry in a win over Cincinnati, playing only on special teams and in the game’s three final plays when quarterback Seneca Wallace dropped to his knee and ran out the clock.
Harrison practiced with the Browns on Wednesday.
In recent days, he refused to talk much about his lack of playing time. Last week, Browns coach Eric Mangini said Harrison was not in his “doghouse” and that the five-year veteran had not approached him about getting more playing time.
Like Harrison, Bell’s chances have been limited this season. He has rushed for just 28 yards on 16 carries.
The Eagles signed him to a one-year, $1.7 million deal as a restricted free agent to back up LeSean McCoy. However, he was slowed by calf and hamstring problems during training camp. When Leonard Weaver suffered a knee injury, it was thought Bell might be able to play some fullback, but the Eagles signed Owen Schmitt.
Bell was with New Orleans last season, rushing for 654 yards and five touchdowns and winning a Super Bowl ring with the Saints.