Extinct. That's the best way to describe the "franchise" running back.
As the NFL becomes more geared toward passing, that's the sad truth that many backs have realized, and it has surely cut into their profits in free-agency periods.
Just ask former Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who signed with the Bengals for a whopping $3 million per year despite leading the league in touchdown totes.
With that, let's take a look at how the AFC East's running back stables graded out.
All that behind a shaky offensive line that had a hard time staying healthy themselves.
And as B/R's Bills featured columnist Josh Cembellin points out, the Bills would be wise to let the two talented backs carry a bigger load to ease some of the load on Ryan Fitzpatrick.
He will be a real weapon in the new West Coast-style offense the Dolphins will be running under Joe Philbin because the goal will be to get the ball into his hands where he can make plays.
That being said, their depth leaves something to be desired. There's time yet for Steve Slaton to turn it around and for Daniel Thomas to turn it on, but for now, they won't inspire much confidence should injury befall Bush.
The team will turn to youngsters Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley to carry more of a load in 2012. Ridley showed some promise for much of the season, apart from his inexplicable fumble-itis at the worst possible time—the playoffs.
It was essentially a redshirt year for Vereen, who had 15 carries, all of which came in blowout wins.
Danny Woodhead took a step backward in 2011, and although some of that might be attributed to fewer opportunities, he just looked a lot less explosive, averaging a full yard per carry less and 2.4 yards per reception less in 2011 than he had in 2010.
The Jets still are looking for a home-run hitter in the backfield, and could look to find one in the draft. Running back was declared one of the deepest positions in the draft, according to Wes Bunting of National Football Post.