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Thread: Free agency primer- Running Backs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Cape Coral, FL

    Free agency primer- Running Backs

    With approximately $30-40 million in cap space, the New York Jets are pegged to be players when the new league year begins on March 3rd, 2013. Today, we look at free agent running backs. Check out our look at quarterbacks from last week here.

    Theres a good chance the New York Jets will enter the 2014 season with Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, and Mike Goodson (Run BMC) as their running backs. However, with Goodsons future a bit uncertain due to his legal trouble as well as Bilal entering the final year of his contract, its possible that the New York Jets look to replace one or both of them now, with either a release of Mike Goodson or trade of Bilal Powell. Heres who the Jets could target in free agency.

    1. Darren McFadden, Raiders

    Darren McFadden
    2013 Stats: 7 starts, 114 carries, 379 yards. 5 TDs, 3.3 yards per carry, 17 receptions, 108 yards, 6.4 yards per reception

    Analysis: McFadden once again battled injuries in 2013, and has now played in 67 out of a possible 96 games in his career. When hes been healthy, which he was for the most part in 2010 (223 rushes, 1157 yards, a 5.2 yards per carry average), McFadden has been an explosive feature back in this league. He has speed, can catch the ball, and has displayed a willingness to run between the tackles. He has earned his injury prone label, though, so its a concern. If healthy, McFadden could be a welcome addition to the Jets backfield depending on the cost.

    Likelihood: He will become an unrestricted free agent after earning $7M this season. There is a chance that a team like the Giants or the Dolphins offer him an opportunity to start, whereas hed be backing up Chris Ivory with the Jets. Well put this as a 3.

    2. Maurice Jones Drew, Jaguars

    2013 Stats: 234 carries, 803 yards. 5 TDs, 3.4 yards per carry, 43 receptions, 314 yards, 7.3 yards per reception, 1117 total yards from scrimmage

    Analysis: MJD bounced back from an injury plagued 2012 season to play 15 out of 16 games in 2013. He had arguably his worst season as a professional, with career lows in yards and yards per carry (not counting his injury shortened year). His best game came against Houston, where he rushed for 103 yards and a 7.3 yards per carry average. Hell be 29 when the season starts, and his days of being a feature back seem to be behind him.

    Likelihood: Drew has expressed a desire to return to Jacksonville this offseason, but hes about to hit free agency for the first time in his career. Drew made $7.6M this past season, and he wont make nearly as much on the open market. However, if hes looking for an opportunity to backup an established running back teams like Houston could reach out to the former All-Pro. Hed be the clear backup to Chris Ivory here, but would be a good weapon as a pass catcher as hes notched at least 40 catches in 6 out of the past 8 seasons. Well put this likelihood at a 2.

    3. Donald Brown, Colts

    Donald Brown
    2013 Stats: 102 carries, 537 yards, 6 TDs, 5.3 yards per carry, 27 receptions, 214 yards, 7.9 yards per reception, 2 TDs, 8 total TDs

    Analysis: The former first round pick, despite the arrival of Trent Richardson midseason, put together arguably his best season in 2013. Over 700 total yards and 8 total touchdowns in spot duty is nothing to scoff at as Brown supplanted Trent Richardson towards the end of the year. Brown, also, displayed good hands as he notched 27 receptions. Brown, also, only fumbled twice in 634 career touches touches. Brown is, also, only 26 and has 551 lifetime carries. There are injury concerns as Brown has played 16 games just twice out of his first 5 seasons.

    Likelihood: Brown will become an unrestricted free agent and is one of the more intriguing options out there should the Jets want to upgrade the running back position. Brown would be a good compliment to Chris Ivory, due to his speed and sure hands, as well as his ability to blitz pick up. With Trent Richardson faltering like he has in Indianapolis, its possible the Colts do not let Brown walk. If they do, Id put the likelihood of Brown replacing Goodson or Powell at a 6.

    4. Ben Tate, Texans

    Ben Tate
    2013 Stats: 181 rushes, 771 yards, 4 TDs, 4.3 yards per carry, 34 receptions, 140 yards 4 total touchdowns, 5 fumbles

    Analysis: Ben Tate took over for Arian Foster when Arian Foster went down and posted his best season as a pro. Tates 4 TDs tied a career high, and and his 34 receptions were a career high. Tate did deal with injuries too, and hes yet to play in a full 16 games. He, also, has a bit of a fumbling problem as hes fumbled 10 times in his career.

    Likelihood: Tate will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and may be looking to step out of the shadow of Arian Foster. Because of this, id put the likelihood of Tate joining the Jets at a 1. However, Tate has back up and starting experience, and would be a good change of pace back for Ivory.

    5. LeGarrette Blount, Patriots

    2013 Stats: 153 carries, 772 yards, 7 TDs, 5.0 yards per carry, 2 receptions, 38 yards, 3 fumbles

    Analysis: Blount took over for Steven Ridley towards the end of the season, and he rewarded the Patriots with his two best games of the season against Buffalo and Indianapolis. Blount averaged 5.0 yards per carry and found the endzone 7 times. Blount did fumble 3 times, and this brought his total up to 12 career fumbles.

    Likelihood: The Patriots invested high draft choices in Ridley and Shane Vereen, so its possible that Blount is the odd man out in New England. Hes very similar to Chris Ivory, in terms of power, but Ivory is actually the faster of the two running backs. He struggles with catching the ball, as hes only registered double digit in catches once in his career. Because of this, hes not the best fit as Ivorys backup and in Martys offense, so id put this likelihood at a 1.

    I'm not sure if anyone here has discussed Donald Brown. I thought that was an intriguing possibility.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigFL View Post
    I'm not sure if anyone here has discussed Donald Brown. I thought that was an intriguing possibility.
    Donald Brown is the only guy I'd want out of that list. Loved him at UConn, loved him in Indy. Have no idea how much he'd cost though, and RB is one of the few places we don't need immediate help, so there's that...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by greenwichjetfan View Post
    Donald Brown is the only guy I'd want out of that list. Loved him at UConn, loved him in Indy. Have no idea how much he'd cost though, and RB is one of the few places we don't need immediate help, so there's that...
    All of this is correct. Did not love him early on at Indy though. This year was fantastic


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