Mike Pettine and the Browns front office didn't want to risk losing a shot at bringing running back Robert Turbin to Cleveland.
The Browns coach called himself a fan of Turbin, who played in all 48 games for the Seahawks over the past three seasons working behind All-Pro Marshawn Lynch. He became available Wednesday when he was waived from Seattle's injured reserve list.
Cleveland pounced with a claim and was rewarded with Turbin shortly after Thursday's practice.
"To me, the timing of it for us was we knew that there were other teams interested and that being where we were in the claiming order," Pettine said after Friday's practice. "We could have let him potentially clear and then try to recruit him and sign him or let him on his own but you're competing with 30 other teams essentially for that.
"We think enough of him that that wasn't something that we were willing to risk, that 'hey, we have a chance to get him here, let's get him here.'"
Over three seasons, Turbin ran for 928 yards with an average of 4 yards per carry. He also caught 43 passes for 427 yards and two scores in duty that also included work on special teams.
Turbin has been sidelined with an ankle injury and his return date remains up in the air. The Browns currently boast two healthy running backs on their 53-man roster but have time to make transactions before Sunday's season opener against the New York Jets.
Pettine expects Turbin's impact to be significant in a young Browns backfield when he returns to full strength. Running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery was a fan of Turbin's when he was still a college player at Utah State, Pettine said.
"He's downhill. When you watch him play he is physical. You talk about playing with an attitude, that's the way he is," Pettine said. "When you go down the list of attributes what we're looking for in a running back, and then also just the bonus part of it is the person that we're bringing to the room – nothing but positive opinions on how he is in the locker room, in the meeting room, on the practice field – it was just a move that we felt was best for us."
With Turbin's entrance, of course, came the exit of converted wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, whom the Browns originally kept on their 53-man roster "largely because of his potential," Pettine said.
"We viewed that spot as the 53rd roster spot and there was a lot of debate over it," Pettine said. "Terrelle certainly has the ability to make the transition to receiver. We were hopeful that we were going to be able to have that time to do it, but that, to me, is viewed as a luxury. Given where we were when we looked at our running back room, given our circumstances and having always been a Robert Turbin fan, just admiring how he plays and the mentality he takes to the field, that was an opportunity that we felt we couldn't pass up."
Pryor was hampered by a hamstring injury throughout training camp and was only able to participate in one game, the Browns' preseason finale at Chicago. He did not have any targets and finished with two carries for 9 yards on plays that began with him at quarterback.
"Will Terrelle Pryor be successful in the NFL at wide out? There's a pretty good chance of that," Pettine said. "But just given the timing for us, it just wasn't right."