The Browns have traded linebacker Emmanuel Acho to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for running back Dion Lewis, league sources confirmed for the Beacon Journal this morning.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the move. The Eagles later announced the deal, and a Browns spokesman confirmed it.
It's the second trade the Browns' new regime has made this month -- quarterback Colt McCoy was shipped to the San Francisco 49ers last week in exchange for late-round draft picks. This time, Browns CEO Joe Banner found a partner in his former team. He spent 19 years with the Eagles, the last 12 as their president.
The Eagles picked Lewis, 22, in the fifth round (No. 149 overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. He has played 24 games with no starts, compiling 36 carries for 171 yards (4.8 average) and two touchdowns to go along with three catches for 21 yards.
Lewis, a product of the University of Pittsburgh, also served as the Eagles’ primary kickoff returner as a rookie, tallying 669 yards on 31 returns (21.6 average). The Browns won’t retain free-agent Pro Bowl return man Josh Cribbs, so Lewis is a candidate to fill his role on kickoffs. The Browns also have wide receiver Travis Benjamin, who showed his promise as a punt returner last season as a rookie.
"Happy to be a Brown," Lewis wrote on Twitter. ... "Feeling the love."
Last year, the Browns drafted Acho, 22, out of the University of Texas in the sixth round (No. 204 overall). He spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve after hurting his knee in the preseason. New Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis served as the Browns' linebackers coach this past season, so he's familiar with Acho.
"EXTREMELY excited to join the Eagles and continue my career there!" Acho wrote on Twitter. "Wassup PHILLY!!!"
The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Lewis is set to make a base salary of $555,000 next season. The 6-1, 240-pound Acho is scheduled to make a base salary of $405,000 in 2013.
With Lewis aboard, the Browns have four running backs on their roster. Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in last year's draft, is the undisputed starter. Montario Hardesty, Chris Ogbonnaya and Lewis are left to compete for roles as backups. Hardesty served as Richardson's primary backup last season, and Ogbonnaya received consistent playing time on third down.
Lewis made headlines last July when police accused him and his older brother, Lamar, of pounding on the locked glass doors of an Albany, N.Y., hotel lobby early in the morning and pulling a fire alarm. However, the charges were dropped after it was determined that the fire alarm was never pulled.