2011 NFL Free Agent Positions:
2011 Free Agency:
Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2011.
2011 NFL Free Agent Positions:
Arian Foster (ERFA), RB, Texans. Age: 25.
Re-signed with Texans ($525,000)
As I said in my fantasy preview this summer, Arian Foster - Australian for stud running back. Foster will be tendered.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Panthers (5 years, $43 million)
It's amazing that the Panthers didn't trade DeAngelo Williams during the season. They better get something for him this spring, or they'll look really stupid. Williams is an elite running back, but there's some injury concern because he's missed action in each of the past two years.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants. Age: 25.
Re-signed with Giants
Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 1,235 yards and eight touchdowns on a 4.5 YPC average in 2010. He also caught 47 balls for 314 yards. However, Bradshaw has fumbling issues, and the Giants coaching staff told the media that they aren't confident that he can stay healthy.
Michael Bush (RFA), RB, Raiders. Age: 27.
Tendered by Raiders
I thought Michael Bush would have a break-out fantasy season, but he was overshadowed by Darren McFadden. Still, Bush is a very talented running back who could start for a number of teams in this league.
Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens. Age: 29.
Signed with Broncos (4 years, $10 million)
Ray Rice's touchdown vulture is finally gone. Willis McGahee turns 30 in October, but he's carried the ball only 378 times in the previous three seasons, so he could sign somewhere like Miami or Denver and earn a starting gig. McGahee is also an effective pass-catching option, so he could be a very effective second option to Steven Jackson or Michael Turner.
Joseph Addai, RB, Colts. Age: 28.
Re-signed with Colts
Joseph Addai isn't the most talented runner in the NFL, but he's great on third downs as both a pass-protector and a receiver out of the backfield.
Mike Tolbert (RFA), RB, Chargers. Age: 25.
Re-signed with Chargers (1 year)
At 5-9, 243 pounds, Mike Tolbert definitely is not a break-away threat. However, he's a very solid power/goal-line back who scored 11 touchdowns in 2010.
Leon Washington, RB/KR, Seahawks. Age: 29.
Re-signed with Seahawks (4 years, $12.5 million)
Despite breaking his leg in October 2009, Leon Washington returned three kickoffs for touchdowns this season. Maybe he'll get more touches on offense next year.
Darren Sproles, RB/KR/PR, Chargers. Age: 28.
Signed with Saints (4 years, $14 million)
Given a 3-star ranking because of his kick-returning ability, Darren Sproles will be 28 in June. He seemed to lose some of his speed last season.
Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Saints (4 years)
Based on raw talent, Pierre Thomas should be higher than this. But he just can't stay healthy, and has never proven that he can carry the load. Thomas' single-season high for rushes is only 147.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (RFA), RB, Patriots. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Patriots (1 year, $1.8 million)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis does a great job in New England's system, but he is not that talented. He would start for only a couple of teams in this league.
Jason Snelling, RB, Falcons. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Falcons (1 year)
A power back who doubles as a solid pass-catcher out of the backfield, Jason Snelling logged 44 receptions in 14 games this past season.
Tim Hightower, RB, Cardinals. Age: 25.
Traded to Redskins
Tim Hightower averaged 4.8 yards per carry in 2010 and caught 63 balls the year before. He's a solid third-down back.
Mike Hart (RFA), RB, Colts. Age: 25.
Mike Hart ran impressively when given the opportunity this past season, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. I'd like to see him get more touches next year (assuming he can stay healthy).
Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals. Age: 28.
Re-signed with Bengals (1 year)
Two major red flags with Cedric Benson: First, he looked slow and sluggish at times in 2010, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry (though some of that can be attributed to Evan Mathis' absence). And second, he's just been playing for a contract these past two years. Once he gets a big signing bonus, he'll probably revert to Sloth Mode. Benson also doesn't offer much in the passing game. All teams should avoid this guy unless they can get him for a very cheap price.
Kevin Smith, RB, Lions. Age: 24.
Kevin Smith has some talent, but can't seem to stay healthy. The Central Florida coaching staff ruined his NFL career by giving him 450 carries in his senior year.
Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins. Age: 29.
Signed with Eagles (1 year)
Beginning in Week 4, Ronnie Brown failed to rush for more than four yards per carry in all but one game. He's still an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield, so he'll sign on as a reserve somewhere.
Cadillac Williams, RB, Buccaneers. Age: 29.
Signed with Rams (1 year)
Cadillac Williams' days as a starter are over, but he has proven that he can still be a very effective third-down back in this league. He caught 46 passes in 2010.
Jerome Harrison, RB, Eagles. Age: 28.
Signed with Lions
Remember that torrid stretch Jerome Harrison enjoyed at the end of the 2009 season? It's amazing that he started only three games this year. Harrison is a very effective second running back.
Brandon Jackson, RB, Packers. Age: 25.
Signed with Browns (2 years, $4.5 million)
Brandon Jackson caught 43 balls in 2010. He's a dependable third-down back.
Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins. Age: 30.
Clinton Portis is probably done. However, he's carried the ball only 178 times in the past two years - thanks to various injuries - so there's a chance he could have something left in the tank. I'd take a shot on him as long as he'd ask for something close to the veteran minimum.
Ricky Williams, RB, Dolphins. Age: 34.
Signed with Ravens (2 years)
Ricky Williams averaged 4.2 yards per carry behind a mediocre offensive line in 2010. He still has some value as a No. 2 back.
Brian Westbrook, RB, 49ers. Age: 31.
It's hard to believe that Brian Westbrook is only 31. He still has something left in the tank, but one more concussion could end his career.
- Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys. Age: 28. -- Signed with Bears (2 years)
- Jerious Norwood, RB, Falcons. Age: 28. -- Signed with Rams
- Derrick Ward, RB, Texans. Age: 31. -- Re-signed with Texans
- Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky. Age: 22. -- Signed with Eagles
- Noel Devine, RB, Eagles. Age: 23.
- Julius Jones, RB, Saints. Age: 30.
- Kenneth Darby, RB, Rams. Age: 28.
- D.J. Ware, RB, Giants. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Giants
- Darren Evans, RB, Virginia Tech. Age: N/A. -- Signed with Colts
- Mewelde Moore, RB, Steelers. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Steelers
- Garrett Wolfe, RB, Bears. Age: 27.
- Lynell Hamilton (RFA), RB, Saints. Age: 26.
- LenDale White, RB, Broncos. Age: 26.
- Laurence Maroney, RB, Broncos. Age: 26.
- Patrick Cobbs, RB, Dolphins. Age: 28.
- Lex Hilliard (RFA), RB, Dolphins. Age: 27.
- Mike Bell, RB, Browns. Age: 28. -- Signed with Lions
- Jalen Parmele, RB, Ravens. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Ravens
- Kareem Huggins (ERFA), RB, Buccaneers. Age: 25.
- Correll Buckhalter, RB, Broncos. Age: 32.
- Rock Cartwright, RB, Raiders. Age: 31.
- Ladell Betts, RB, Saints. Age: 32.
- Jackie Battle, RB, Chiefs. Age: 27.
- Eldra Buckley, RB, Eagles. Age: 26. -- Tendered by Eagles
- Kahlil Bell (ERFA), RB, Bears. Age: 24. -- Tendered by Bears
- Albert Young (RFA), RB, Vikings. Age: 26.
- Michael Bennett, RB, Raiders. Age: 33. -- Re-signed with Raiders (1 year, $890,000)
- Chad Simpson, RB, Redskins. Age: 26.
- Matt Lawrence (ERFA), RB, Ravens. Age: 26.
- Tiki Barber, RB, Giants. Age: 36.
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