2012 NFL Free Agents: Power Ranking Best Remaining RBs

Eric BowmanChief Writer IVDecember 12, 2016

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Tim Hightower #25 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after the game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field on September 11, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

As NFL teams prepare for offseason workouts, there are still a number of free agents who can make big contributions, and it's easy to see the running back position is stacked with great talent. 

Of the top guys up for grabs, each has the skills to be a full-time starter, as well as a platoon-type player who splits carries with someone else. 

If they have to share time, it should motivate them to work harder so they can get the ball more often. 

With that said, here's how I rank the top three best available NFL free-agent running backs. 



Tim Hightower 


Despite returning from a torn ACL injury, Hightower is the top RB on the market at the moment. He started for the Washington Redskins in five games last season, rushing for 321 yards on 84 carries and two touchdowns. 

Hightower turns 26 in late May, and he will serve as a solid option in the backfield wherever he lands. Teams are afraid to pick him up because he's coming off a knee injury, but the guy can flat out run the rock.

According to the Washington Post, Hightower visited with the New England Patriots in late April, but he could also return to the Redskins. 

He's young and talented and would be a superb addition for any team in need of a running back. 



Cedric Benson 

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 11:  Cedric Benson#32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL game against Houston Texans at Paul Brown Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images


Sure, Benson has had off-the-field issues in the past and there are concerns about his attitude, but nobody can deny his strength in the backfield and his ability to make plays. 

Benson rushed for over 1,000 yards in the past three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, and given the opportunity to run the ball a good number of times, Benson will make the most of his carries. 

He turns 30 at the end of this year, so age is somewhat of an issue. NFL running backs take a beating year in and year out, and the last thing a team wants to do is sign a guy only to see him get hurt. 

A week ago on ESPN's NFL Live, John Clayton reported that Benson would like to play for the Oakland Raiders (via Rotoworld.com). 



Ryan Grant 


In 2008 and 2009, Grant was a stud RB for the Green Bay Packers, but he hasn't been the same since suffering an ankle injury in the 2010 season opener. 

Still, Grant is a strong backup RB who would strengthen a team's depth. He isn't a player that will wow anyone with his stats, but he'll do all the little things to help a team win. What's more, Grant is also a solid receiver out of the backfield, which makes him even more enticing. 

Grant is a definite platoon RB who has his veteran experience and knowledge of the game to help whatever team he lands with this year. 

According to The Detroit News, Grant was supposed to visit the Lions on Monday, but it's unclear if he did or not. 



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