2010 NFL Free Agents: Running Backs

2010 Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2010.

  1. Darren Sproles (RFA), RB/KR/PR, Chargers. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Chargers (1 year, $7.2 million)

    Given a 4-star ranking because of his kick-returning ability. Darren Sproles is a lightning-quick back who can go the distance at any moment, but it's very telling that he didn't receive 10 or more carries in any game after Week 3 this season.

  2. Ronnie Brown (RFA), RB, Dolphins. Age: 28.
    Tendered by Dolphins (1st round)

    Ronnie Brown is one of the best running backs in the NFL when he's on the field. The problem is that he's seldom on the field. In the past three seasons, Brown has missed 16 games.

  3. Jerome Harrison (RFA), RB, Browns. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Browns (1 year, $1.7 million)

    You have to wonder why Eric Mangini didn't use Jerome Harrison earlier in the year. In his final three games, Harrison rushed for 561 yards and five touchdowns despite running behind an offensive line that needs major help on the right side. Harrison is also a solid pass-catcher.

  4. Pierre Thomas (RFA), RB, Saints. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Saints (1 year, $1.6 million)

    Pierre Thomas is a very talented and versatile running back who can go the distance on any play or catch eight balls in a contest. I don't think he could ever shoulder 300 carries in a season, but he's definitely a guy you want to touch the ball 20-25 times per game.

  5. Leon Washington (RFA), RB/KR, Jets. Age: 28.
    Traded to Seahawks

    Leon Washington was averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 24.1 yards per kickoff return before breaking his leg in October. Washington will complement Shonn Greene as a dynamic third-down back.

  6. Chester Taylor, RB, Vikings. Age: 30.
    Signed with Bears (4 years, $12.5 million; $7 million guaranteed)

    Chester Taylor has been one of the top reserve running backs in the NFL over the past few years. He can run in between the tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield. The problem is that he'll be 31 in September.

  7. Clifton Smith (ERFA), KR/PR, Buccaneers. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Buccaneers (1 year)

    Listed this high only because he's one of the top return specialists in the league. Not a real running back.

  8. Thomas Jones, RB, Jets. Age: 32.
    Signed with Chiefs (2 years, $5 million)

    Thomas Jones would be a quality signing for one year. However, he's 32 and wore down at the end of last season. The tank is nearing empty.

  9. Cadillac Williams (RFA), RB, Buccaneers. Age: 28.
    Re-signed with Buccaneers (1 year, $2.3 million)

    Tough call on how to rank Cadillac Williams. He's very talented, but his injury history is overwhelming. I would not be comfortable with him as my lead back.

  10. Jason Snelling (RFA), RB, Falcons. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Falcons (1 year, $1.6 million)

    A tough runner who can catch the ball out of the backfield. Jason Snelling lacks any sort of breakaway speed, but he's a quality physical back.

  11. Jerious Norwood (RFA), RB, Falcons. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Falcons (1 year, $1.7 million)

    Jerious Norwood can't be an every-down back, but he's a solid third-down back who can catch the ball out of the backfield and hit a big play.

  12. LenDale White, RB, Seahawks. Age: 25.
    Signed with Broncos

    It's unclear what sparked the LenDale White release in Seattle. He wasn't out of shape and the talent is there, so it must have been some serious character issues. Still, he's a good running back who really excels at the goal line.

  13. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers. Age: 31.
    Signed with Jets (2 years, $5.2 million)

    LaDainian Tomlinson is done - as a feature back. The reason I've given him a 2.5-star rating is because he would be one hell of a goal-line back for some team. Just ask Houston fans if their team would have made the playoffs with Tomlinson getting some chances from the 1-yard line. Unfortunately, Tomlinson is a bit delusional and may overprice himself instead of just accepting this new role.

  14. Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles. Age: 30.
    Signed with 49ers (1 year, $1.25 million)

    Will Brian Westbrook even play again? He's had too many concussions and other injuries over the years, and he should seriously consider retirement. Even when he was in the lineup last season, Westbrook was not the same player.

  15. Kevin Faulk, RB, Patriots. Age: 34.
    Re-signed with Patriots (1 year, $2 million; $1 million bonus)

    A reliable third-down back, Kevin Faulk averaged 5.4 YPC and caught 37 balls in 2009. Even at 34, Faulk should be brought back as an important piece in New England's offense.

  16. Mike Bell (RFA), RB, Saints. Age: 27.
    Signed with Eagles (1 year, $1.7 million)

    I'll never understand why Sean Payton gave Mike Bell carries over Pierre Thomas this season. Bell is a very good backup runner, but isn't talented enough to be a consistent starter.

  17. LenDale White (RFA), RB, Titans. Age: 25.
    Traded to Seahawks

    Interesting that LenDale White lost 30 pounds in his contract year. Don't worry, guys. Once some team signs White to a long-term deal, he'll begin consuming tequila and doughnuts again.

  18. Tatum Bell, RB, Broncos. Age: 29.
    If you can keep him away from cash registers and luggage, Tatum Bell can be pretty effective. Bell totaled 117 yards and two touchdowns against the Chargers in Week 17 of the 2008 season.

  19. Ryan Moats (RFA), RB, Vikings. Age: 27.
  20. D.J. Ware (ERFA), RB, Giants. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Giants (1 year)
  21. Julius Jones, RB, Seahawks. Age: 29. -- Signed with Saints
  22. Larry "East Coast Cat" Johnson, RB, Redskins. Age: 30.
  23. Derrick Ward, RB, Buccaneers. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Texans
  24. Justin Fargas, RB, Broncos. Age: 30.
  25. Willie Parker, RB, Redskins. Age: 29.
  26. Quinton Ganther (RFA), RB, Redskins. Age: 26. -- Signed with Seahawks
  27. Jamal Lewis, RB, Browns. Age: 31.
  28. Kenneth Darby (RFA), RB, Rams. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Rams
  29. DeShawn Wynn, RB, Packers. Age: 26. -- Signed with Saints
  30. Michael Bennett, RB, Chargers. Age: 32. -- Signed with Raiders
  31. Rock Cartwright, RB/KR, Redskins. Age: 30. -- Signed with Raiders
  32. Cedric Peerman (ERFA), RB, Lions. Age: 23. -- Re-signed with Lions (1 year)
  33. Chris Brown, RB, Broncos. Age: 29.
  34. Kevin Jones, RB, Bears. Age: 28.
  35. Ahman Green, RB, Packers. Age: 33.
  36. Samkon Gado, RB, Titans. Age: 27.
  37. LaMont Jordan, RB, Broncos. Age: 31.
  38. Kolby Smith, RB, Jaguars. Age: 25.
  39. Marcus Mason, RB, Chargers. Age: 26.
  40. Adrian Peterson, RB, Seahawks. Age: 31.
  41. Jackie Battle (ERFA), RB, Chiefs. Age: 26. -- Tendered by Chiefs
  42. Thomas Clayton, RB, Patriots. Age: 26.

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