Last August, we put together a post on 30-year-old running backs from a fantasy football perspective. We were reminded of that post Thursday morning when we read the news that the Browns had released RB Jamal Lewis. Lewis is the first of these running backs to be cut this offseason, although others on the list – most notably LaDanian Tomlinson – could end up on the chopping block as well. We’ll cross the LDT bridge when we come to it, but for today we’ll discuss Lewis’ past and future.
Lewis, who ran for 2,000 yards and won a Super Bowl in Baltimore, has slowed down significantly in recent years, but he was still able to run for 500 yards and cross the 10,000-yard career mark last season.Cleveland let Lewis go to hand the ball to Jerome Harrison, who finished the season very strongly. The Browns also have James Davis returning from injury after he showed some flashes as a rookie last year. Last season was Lewis’ first campaign out of 9 in his career in which he ran for less than 900 yards, but his yards per carry average has topped 3.6 only once in the last five years. Lewis isn’t committed to retiring, but as Edgerrin James learned last year, the league starts to retire running backs before they think they’re really done.