2015 NFL Free Agents: Running Backs

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2015 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2015.
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  1. DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys. Age: 27.
    Signed with Eagles (5 years, $42 million; $21 million guaranteed)

    DeMarco Murray rushed for a league-leading 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2014. He also caught 57 passes for 416 receiving yards. The Cowboys should be careful with giving him a big contract, however, given the workload he handled this past season and his prior durability issues. It’s unlikely Murray will have another year like this again, so the team that signs him will be paying on past production.

  2. Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens. Age: 29.
    Re-signed with Ravens (3 years, $9 million)

    A long-time journeyman, Justin Forsett finally found a home in Baltimore, where he rushed for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 44 catches for 263 receiving yards. Forsett averaged 5.4 yards per carry, but it’s fair to wonder how he would’ve done if he didn’t have the benefit of playing in Gary Kubiak’s blocking scheme.

  3. Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots. Age: 26.
    Signed with Giants

    Shane Vereen has been a disappointment as a runner, but he has been a Kevin Faulk-type pass-catcher out of the backfield for Tom Brady. He caught 52 balls in 2014 after logging 47 receptions the year before.

  4. Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers. Age: 27.
    Signed with Eagles (3 years, $12 million)

    Ryan Mathews is good when he’s actually on the field, but he’s constantly injured. That could always change – Fred Taylor went from being known as “Fragile Fred” to being reliable late in his career – but until proven otherwise, Mathews is considered to be made of glass.

  5. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers. Age: 32.
    Signed with Colts (3 years, $12 million)

    Frank Gore just had his fourth-consecutive season of 1,100 rushing yards or more, and he averaged 4.3 yards per carry in 2014. Unfortunately, he’ll turn 32 in May, so his days are numbered, especially considering that he now has close to 2,500 carries in his career.

  6. C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills. Age: 28.
    Signed with Saints

    Some fantasy sites have accused the Bills of misusing C.J. Spiller, but the former first-rounder just can’t handle a big workload because of his build. Spiller is an explosive play-maker, but he’s also unreliable because he’s constantly banged up.

  7. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Saints (4 years, $16 million)

    Mark Ingram ran well at times in 2014, including a stretch in which he had three consecutive 100-yard games. He’s only 25, so perhaps he’ll be able to live up to expectations soon. Then again, maybe he was just trying hard for the first time because he was in his contract year.

  8. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Dolphins. Age: 28.
    Knowshon Moreno looked great during the early stages of the season, but tore his ACL in October. Injuries have always been an issue for Moreno, but when he’s healthy, he’s a very strong, all-around back.

  9. Roy Helu, RB, Redskins. Age: 26.
    Signed with Raiders (2 years)

    Roy Helu is a good pass-catching back. He’s an adequate No. 2 runner otherwise.

  10. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Colts. Age: 29.
    One of the most unreliable players in the NFL, Ahmad Bradshaw has missed 19 games the past two seasons. He’s a solid, all-around back who would be ranked much higher than this if he could stay healthy, but his durability is a major issue.

  11. Matt Asiata (RFA), RB, Vikings. Age: 28.
    Re-signed with Vikings (1 year)

    Matt Asiata is a tough, short-yardage runner, who excels at catching passes out of the backfield. He’s just a No. 2 back though.

  12. Antone Smith, RB, Falcons. Age: 29.
    Re-signed with Falcons

    Antone Smith is an explosive play-maker who can go the distance any time he touches the ball, so there will be interest in his services. Unfortunately for him, he’ll turn 30 right after the season opener.

  13. Reggie Bush, RB, Lions. Age: 30.
    Signed with 49ers

    Reggie Bush was a major disappointment in Detroit. He had a hot start in 2013, but was benched down the stretch because of his fumbles. He was even worse last year, averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. Bush, 30 just prior to free agency, can still be a pass-catching weapon, but his days of carrying the ball 200-plus times per season are long gone.

  14. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons. Age: 25. — Signed with Bears
  15. Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots. Age: 26. — Signed with Jets
  16. Trent Richardson, RB, Colts. Age: 25. — Signed with Raiders
  17. Bernard Pierce, RB, Ravens. Age: 24. — Signed with Jaguars
  18. Steven Jackson, RB, Falcons. Age: 32.
  19. Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints. Age: 30.
  20. Bobby Rainey (RFA), RB, Buccaneers. Age: 27. — Tendered by Buccaneers
  21. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers. Age: 32. — Signed with Steelers
  22. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders. Age: 28. — Signed with Cowboys
  23. Lance Dunbar (RFA), RB, Cowboys. Age: 25. — Tendered by Cowboys
  24. Chris Polk (RFA), RB, Eagles. Age: 25. — Signed with Texans
  25. Chris Johnson, RB, Jets. Age: 29.
  26. Shonn Greene, RB, Titans. Age: 30.
  27. DuJuan Harris, RB, Packers. Age: 26. — Signed with Vikings
  28. Brandon Bolden (RFA), RB, Patriots. Age: 25. — Re-signed with Patriots (2 years, $2.32 million)
  29. Peyton Hillis, RB, Giants. Age: 29.
  30. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens. Age: 28.
  31. Jordan Todman (RFA), RB, Jaguars. Age: 25. — Signed with Panthers
  32. Travaris Cadet (RFA), RB, Saints. Age: 26. — Signed with Patriots
  33. Bilal Powell, RB, Jets. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Jets
  34. Leon Washington, RB/KR, Titans. Age: 33.

  35. George Winn, RB, Lions. Age: 24.
  36. Joe McKnight, RB, Chiefs. Age: 27.
  37. Cedric Peerman, RB, Bengals. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Bengals
  38. Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Giants. Age: 29. — Re-signed with Giants
  39. Shaun Draughn, RB, Browns. Age: 27.
  40. Montell Owens, RB, Bears. Age: 31.
  41. Jeremy Stewart (RFA), RB, Broncos. Age: 26.
  42. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Cardinals. Age: 26.

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