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Cleveland Browns waive Ben Tate after 10 games

The Cleveland Browns have found a fix for their three-headed backfield problem.

The team on Tuesday waived veteran running back Ben Tate after just six starts over 10 games with the organization.

It's a surprising tumble from grace for Tate, who was signed in March to lead the way as Cleveland's workhorse on the ground. Instead, the Browns have shown more faith as of late in rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell to engineer one of the league's most unpredictable backfields.

Tate hasn't shied away from complaining about play-caller Kyle Shanahan's committee approach, acknowledging last week that he'd be "lying" to say that he was satisfied with his limited workload. His 106 totes sat nestled between West (112) and Crowell (78), but coach Mike Pettine told reporters after Sunday's loss to the Texans that he saw more "explosiveness" from the rookies.

"With all the transactions we make while constructing our roster, it will always be our intent to do what is best for our football team," general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement. "This move is no different, and we wish Ben the best going forward."

Pettine's weekly sermons that quality practice time would lead to carries on Sunday serves as living proof that Tate -- with two carries for minus-9 yards against Houston, his old team -- wasn't living up to expectations after inking a two-year, $6.2 million contract with the Browns. 

Still just 26, Tate is a lock to be snatched off waivers or sign elsewhere in a hurry if he clears. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that if a team were to claim and play the running back, it would cost that squad $634,000 ($352,941 in base salary, $282,250 in per-game bonuses) this season for six games. Rapoport added that Tate's non-guaranteed 2015 base salary is $2.95 million.

For the Browns, it's a vote of confidence in West and Crowell, who will carry the load down the stretch for a 6-4 team still harboring playoff hopes. It's also a strong message from Pettine and Farmer that voicing displeasure with one's role through the media will trigger a ticket out of town.

Tate learned that lesson firsthand on Tuesday.

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