• Free Agent Running Backs

    Continuing the positive attitude that there will a football season and sooner or later there will be a free agency period, here’s the next position area.
    Remember, we are dealing with unrestricted free agents only (UFA).

    Last week it was quarterbacks, this time it’s running backs. All the runners below have had their moments of NFL glory. Have they still got it or are they over the hill?

    Here’s an alphabetical list of some candidates (ages and draft in parentheses):
    Cedric Benson (28) (Rd 1 #4 2005)
    Ronnie Brown (29) (Rd 1 #2 2005)
    Clinton Portis (30) (Rd 2 #51 2002)
    Darren Sproles (28) (Rd 4 #130 2005)
    Brian Westbrook (31) (Rd 3 #91 2002)
    Cadillac Williams (29) (Rd 1 #5 2005)
    Ricky Williams (34) (Rd 1 #5 1998)
    (Brown, Benson and Williams were 3 of the first 5 selections in 2005)

    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      Not a very exciting list. These guys aren't going to fetch too much in the open market - maybe Benson will get a good deal, but Portis and Westbrook are done, Ricky Williams may have a good season left in him and ronnie Brown has had moments of brilliance interspersed with periods of injury and/or invisibility. As for Sproles, I laughed when the Chargers gave him that big contract a few years ago.
    1. Polishguy00's Avatar
      Deep breath, Aaannndd:

      Good Luck With That, Injured A Lot, Old and Injured, Fast and Limited, Old and Please Spare His Brain, Injured A Lot and a Nice Return but Will be Injured Again, Oldest Yet Best of the Bunch.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Benson uncharacteristically led the NFL in fumbles last year. Does not have the tag of being a fumbler during college career as well as in the NFL. Is it an aberration? Only averaged 3.5 per carry as well. How would he handle the big payday? Darren Sproles is a change of pace back with big play potential as a rusher, receiver, return man. His small stature does not lend itself to 20-25 carries a game. The others are too old or too beaten up, certainly not a long term solution for any franchise. If you only need a one or two year bridge period, maybe. Not a free agency jackpot at RB this season.
    1. KabaModernFan's Avatar
      Starters - Benson, Brown
      Solid Rotation Guys - Portis, Cadillac, Ricky
      Kick Returner - Sproles
      Check Please - Westbrook

      I'm not giving up on Clinton Portis yet. He had a positive DVOA last year behind a bad Skins line while battling injuries. If he gets healthy in the offseason, and gets signed by a team that can put him in a complimentary role behind a good line, he can still be effective. Not to mention his ability as a receiver and blocker out of the backfield.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I think Benson gets the best deal, but Brown is the one I'd take a chance on. He's the most versitile, probably the most gifted, and will come at a reduced rate.
    1. ReaderM's Avatar
      Caddy might be the best Blitz pick-up RB in the league right now.From everything I've read the Bucs Free Agent list goes Davin Jospeh,Barrett Rudd and Carnell Williams. Caddy, while he might be a pure #1 RB anymore towards the end of last season shows he can really shine in a Jacobs/Bradshaw back-up like role. Plus he is an ultimate character/team-first guy who you would want in your locker room. He's a proven hard worker as evident from his recovery from all those surgeries. I'm honestly hoping the Bucs resign him cause he's is just one of those guys that his production isn't just measured on the field but off of it also.
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      Westbrook looked really good in limited action with the 49ers last year. He might shine in a Kevin Faulk type role in the right offense. Bring him in on 3rd downs or screens occasionally and let him rip. Keep him outside the tackles - he still has speed but his durability is a question mark.

      Benson still has some tread on the tires and Brown might do well on a team that isn't schizophrenic on offense.

      The rest of the group could be solid situational contributors but I don't see 250 carry guy in the group.
    1. DannyMilk's Avatar
      idk if I'm just dumb (very possible) but Westbrook is the most appealing on that list to me...least appealing, Cedric Benson, who undoubtedly is drunk driving a boat somewhere in the Gulf right now
    1. Lebrack27's Avatar
      I think the best of this class of FA RB is DeAngelo Williams of the Panters. Not sure if Arian Foster is FA or not, but he's another good one. Bradshaw, aside from his fumbling issues, is a very solid runner.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Ricky Williams is over the hill but I think he's there to prohibit that lawsuit the Dolphins woulda brought had he stayed retired and woulda've owed all that money. He also woulda've needed to file bankruptcy. I think Westbrook (Eagles Alum) could still get it done.
    1. inguagiatoj28's Avatar
      Cadillac Williams is the man. He is making his comeback from injury and still has plenty in the tank.Hed be great on a team that he could split carries 50/50. Bucs had to many guys last year getting touches.