Running back has become an interchangeable position for NFL offensive coordinators and they have developed specific needs for their offensive schemes. The NFL running back free agent market this season can address a wide range of needs. The following ten running backs may end up in another teams back field once the 2011 season rolls around this season.
No.10. Joseph Addai
Joseph Addai has been injury prone over the last two seasons and the Indianapolis Colts may be looking in another direction for their back field in 2011. There are several pass catching running backs the Indianapolis Colts may have an eye on or they just fill the position in the NFL Draft in April.
No.9. Cadillac Williams
Cadillac Williams became expendable when LaGarrette Blount began running over defenders late in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers run for the NFL Playoffs. Williams was once the primary bruising running back out of the Tampa Bay back field but injuries and his inability to hit the hole with authority have made Williams expendable. Williams will catch on at a short price with someone in 2011.
No.8. Leon Washington
Pete Carroll likes Leon Washington but he will let him go into the NFL free agent pool to test the waters. Washington is a solid double threat for any team looking for a speedy return man or a change of pace running back.
No.7. Pierre Thomas
Pierre Thomas must have done something to get on the wrong side of Sean Payton his head coach with the New Orleans Saints. Payton is not considering bringing back the once integral piece of his high powered offense. Thomas saw limited action in the 2010 NFL season after being injured and when he returned he rode the pine. Thomas could end up in the NFC South as a second back with the Carolina Panthers or Atlanta Falcons.
No.6. Ronnie Brown
Ronnie Brown has battled injuries all of his career and although he had been an important part of the Miami Dolphins wild cat offense, Brown will be moving on to another team in 2011. Brown is a productive back but he will have to convince a team that his injury issues are a thing of the past.
No.5. Mike Tolbert
The best bowling ball running back in the NFL is Mike Tolbert. Tolbert can fit in with any team in the NFL looking for a change of pace back and a blocking full back for a quick number running back. Tolbert has shown he can produce in a single back offense as well as the full back in front of Ryan Mathews.
No.4. Michael Bush
Michael Bush opened a lot of eyes with his hard up and down running style and his tenacity coming out of the back field. Bush displayed a hit first running style that most offensive coordinators love. Bush also has a talent for catching the ball out of the back field although he was not used in that capacity by the Oakland Raiders this season.
No.3. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Although BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a one dimensional running back that does not catch the ball out of the back field he is one of the most valuable running backs entering the free agent market. Green-Ellis is another running back that can pound the ball up the middle and soften up defenses.
No.2. Ahmad Bradshaw
Ahmad Bradshaw is a going to be a major prize for teams looking for a running back through the free agent market. Bradshaw did not remain healthy for all 16 games in 2010 and it will be a concern for any team interviewing him for the 2011 season. Bradshaw will fit well with a team that is looking to establish a one-two punch much like the Kansas City Chiefs. He will see interest from teams within the NFC East division.
No.1. DeAngelo Williams
The number one free agent among running backs will be DeAngelo Williams. When healthy Williams is a top ten running back with the ability to take over a game. Williams will fit in well with a young quarterback that needs to buy time with a good running game. Possible locations for Williams to settle will be with the Cleveland Browns or the Buffalo Bills.
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