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2012 NFL Free Agents: Running Backs

2012 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Mock

2012 Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2012.
Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

  1. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens. Age: 25.
    Franchised by Ravens

    I don't need to tell you how great Ray Rice is. For the third year in a row, Rice has tallied at least 1,225 rushing yards, 63 catches and 550 receiving yards. He even scored a career-high 15 touchdowns in 2011. He'll be franchised.

  2. Arian Foster (RFA), RB, Texans. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Texans (5 years, $43.5 million)

    Arian Foster is one of the top running backs in the NFL. He can do it all, and he proved that his 1,600 rushing yards in 2010 weren't a fluke by totaling 1,224 rushing yards and 53 receptions in 13 games this past season.

  3. Matt Forte, RB, Bears. Age: 26.
    Franchised by Bears

    Matt Forte was having an All-Pro season before suffering an MCL sprain right after Thanksgiving. In just 12 contests, he rushed for 997 yards (4.9 YPC) and caught 52 balls for 490 receiving yards. With no holes in his game, he's one of the top running backs in the NFL.

  4. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Seahawks (4 years, $32 million; $18 million guaranteed)

    Marshawn Lynch is a tough one to rank. Based on what he did this year, he deserves 4.5 stars, but his lacking effort for most of 2010 and prior is alarming. Will he slack off after receiving a new contract like Chris Johnson, or will he continue to terrorize defenses with his punishing running ability? Caveat emptor, Seahawks.

  5. Michael Bush, RB, Raiders. Age: 28.
    Signed with Bears (4 years, $14 million)

    Michael Bush will be overrated on the market. He wore down as the season went along, and he didn't even start the whole year or anything. That's a big red flag.

  6. Mike Tolbert, RB, Chargers. Age: 26.
    Signed with Panthers (4 years)

    If you play fantasy football, you know about Mike Tolbert. He is a power runner with solid pass-catching ability.

  7. Kevin Smith, RB, Lions. Age: 25.
    Signed with Lions (1 year)

    There's no denying that Kevin Smith is really talented, but he's way too injury-prone and unreliable. He's lucky to make it through each week.

  8. Ryan Grant, RB, Packers. Age: 29.
    Ryan Grant doesn't have much left in the tank. He's a committee back at best going forward.

  9. Kahlil Bell, RB, Bears. Age: 25.
    Tendered by Bears

    I liked what I saw out of Kahlil Bell late in the year. He collects a good number of yards after contact, displays great vision and patience, and picks up his blocking assignments well. He can also catch passes out of the backfield.

  10. Tim Hightower, RB, Redskins. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Redskins (1 year)

    Tim Hightower is a pretty mediocre running back with solid receiving skills, but he's coming off a torn ACL.

  11. Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns. Age: 26.
    Signed with Chiefs (1 year, $3 million)

    Peyton Hillis is a tough runner with good pass-catching ability when healthy, but the problem is that he's always banged up. He's just way too unreliable, and his fumbling issues don't help.

    Update: Hillis reportedly has thought about quitting football to become a CIA agent. Umm... what? Teams will definitely question his dedication.

  12. Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals. Age: 29.
    Signed with Packers

    Cedric Benson can be a solid backup running back at this point of his career, but that's about it. Despite playing behind a really good offensive line, he couldn't even rush for four yards per carry.

  13. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants. Age: 30.
    Signed with 49ers (1 year)

    Brandon Jacobs had some good games down the stretch, but he averaged 3.8 YPC for the year. He'll be 30 in July, and considering his running style and ineptness in the passing game, he could be close to done.

  14. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots. Age: 27. -- Signed with Bengals (3 years)
  15. Steve Slaton, RB, Dolphins. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Dolphins (1 year)
  16. Justin Forsett, RB, Seahawks. Age: 26. -- Signed with Texans
  17. LaRod Stephens-Howling (RFA), RB/KR, Cardinals. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Cardinals (1 year, $1.927 million)
  18. Joseph Addai, RB, Patriots. Age: 29.
  19. Tashard Choice, RB, Bills. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Bills
  20. Jason Snelling, RB, Falcons. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Falcons (3 years)
  21. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets. Age: 33.
  22. Cadillac Williams, RB, Rams. Age: 30.
  23. Mewelde Moore, RB, Steelers. Age: 30. -- Signed with Colts
  24. Kregg Lumpkin, RB, Buccaneers. Age: 28. -- Signed with Seahawks
  25. Jackie Battle, RB, Chiefs. Age: 28. -- Signed with Chargers
  26. Ronnie Brown, RB, Eagles. Age: 30. -- Signed with Chargers
  27. Maurice Morris, RB, Lions. Age: 32.
  28. Jerious Norwood, RB, Rams. Age: 29.
  29. Thomas Jones, RB, Chiefs. Age: 34.
  30. Sammy Morris, RB, Cowboys. Age: 35.
  31. Rock Cartwright, RB, Raiders. Age: 32. -- Signed with 49ers (1 year)
  32. Lorenzo Booker, RB, Vikings. Age: 28.
  33. Derrick Ward, RB, Texans. Age: 32.
  34. Chester Taylor, RB, Cardinals. Age: 32.
  35. Jerome Harrison, RB, Lions. Age: 29.
  36. Kevin Faulk, RB, Patriots. Age: 36.

2012 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Mock

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Tyler 03-31-2013 06:00 pm (total posts: 1)
5     4

Im actually suprised reggie bush never was fully used in saintland Pass catcher and good pass blocker.... But iffy runner. He can get 10 carrys a game and catch atg least 3 passes. and hes a good apss protector (just ask brees)Outside hes a good runner inside..... meh
i used to drum for 4 non blondes 03-16-2013 03:08 am (total posts: 1)
8     37

who is gonna give up a 3rd for Darren McFadden at the draft?

let's hear some names
Eric Palmer 03-13-2013 04:55 pm (total posts: 1)
12     37

Reggie Bush landed in the best possible situation. With how often DET spreads the field and throws vertical, he should get at least 70 catches this season. Also, with Leshoure in the fold, he won't have to worry as much about the inside runs--which should help him stay a bit more fresh. Terrific signing.
Packer Backer Steve 03-13-2013 05:56 am (total posts: 1)
65     17

One quick observation. I'm surprised the New England Patriots have shown zero interest in re-signing versatile and fan favorite TB Danny Woodhead. That young man is a perfect fit for their system and most importantly, QB Tom Brady appears to trust him. I really don't care one way or the other what the Pats do, but I am surprised they haven't re-signed Woodhead. Of course, the same can be said for WR Wes Welker, which makes even less sense.
Ryan your stupid 03-11-2013 05:18 pm (total posts: 1)
9     13

Yeah cause another RB is what Carolina needs to get into the playoffs. They resign or trade or draft 1 every off season and aren't close to the playoffs. Tolbert, Williams and Stewart? You really think adding jackson will help. They need WR's not another RB to add to the 100 million dollar backfield
BlueBlood 03-11-2013 04:32 pm (total posts: 1)
11     10

How does Logan even get a star? He was terrible this year in every way possible...
Uncle Tom 02-26-2013 02:32 am (total posts: 1)
12     7

I hope Steven Jackson ends up somewhere good he deserves it
josh 02-08-2013 05:23 pm (total posts: 1)
6     11

id really like to see peyton hills sign with the titans chris johnson cant carry the load by him self.
Packer Backer Steve 02-07-2013 05:27 am (total posts: 1)
9     17

It would be very un-GM Ted Thompson like, but I strongly believe FA TB Reggie Bush would do very well in Green Bay's offensive system. In our system he would be a three down back, cathing 2 - 6 passes / game in addition to 12 - 18 carries / game. If I were Thompson, and if it made financial sense, I would seriously consider offering him a 3 - 4 year contract.
Hey Ryan 02-04-2013 10:05 am (total posts: 4)
40     11

Aren't the Panthers already paying their Running Backs like 25 mil. per year?
Lions fan 02-03-2013 04:43 pm (total posts: 1)
11     9

thank god Stefan logan is a free agent we need to not resign him, go after guys like Rashard Mendenhall and keep Bell under contract.
Brian Leonard 01-29-2013 03:16 pm (total posts: 2)
13     11

Hey, Walt, I'm not a fullback, dude.
By the way, i went to tango and it sucks. Just Sayin'.
ryan 01-29-2013 03:08 pm (total posts: 2)
11     153

steven jackson is an awesome running back, he should sign with carolina. he and cam newton would make a deadly combo and could easily make the playoffs
Goldmind 01-26-2013 10:44 pm (total posts: 1)
10     60

Reggie Bush will be a Colt. Lock.
gator 01-24-2013 07:09 pm (total posts: 1)
16     9

you dont have chris rainey listed. He was released by the steelers a couple weeks ago for a domestic abuse incident with his girlfriend. That kid has some serious wheels.

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