NFL Free Agents 2012: Predicting Where the Top 5 Free-Agent RBs Will Land

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The running backs available on this year’s free-agent market are a talented bunch, but the best of them are staying put.

With such exciting players, I wish I had more exciting news to report, but that’s the truth.

The anticipated inertia is evidence of the position’s enduring importance. Running back isn’t the marquee position it once was, but teams still place a heavy premium on the position’s best performers.

Just ask the Chicago Bears.

Backfield maven Matt Forte accounted for nearly 30 percent of the team’s total offense last year despite missing the last four games. On a team lacking viable big-play receivers and mismatch-creating tight ends, Forte is all of the above. He runs, he catches, he keeps the defense in flux.

It’s players like him who bring true, irreplaceable value to the position. They aren’t the 40-carry-a-game warhorses of yesteryear, but they make their presence felt all the same.

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