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Cleveland Browns place tender on Isaiah Crowell

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It's easy to dismiss Cleveland's disastrous one-win season, but not every aspect of the campaign was total wreckage.

The development of Isaiah Crowell was a quiet plus, and the Browns don't plan to let the young running back get away.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the team has placed a second-round tender on the fourth-year pro worth $2.81 million, per sources informed of the situation. Tender aside, the sides continue to work on a long-term deal that would replace the tender entirely.

Cleveland and Crowell have been negotiating a new contract for months before hitting a "stalemate" in January, according to Rapoport.

The undrafted Crowell finished the year as the league's 15th-leading rusher, pounding out 952 yards at a healthy 4.8 yards per carry. His eight totes of 20-plus yards ranked fifth in the NFL, but the 24-year-old trailed off down the stretch before exploding for 152 yards in Week 17.

With 19 touchdowns over three seasons, Crowell has a nose for the end zone, but any new deal shouldn't preclude the Browns from looking for help in the draft. While passing-down option Duke Johnson has his moments, Cleveland needs help at every single skill position on the field.

It makes sense, though, to re-sign Crowell and see if he can grow further off last year's mostly promising turn under coach Hue Jackson.

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