There is not a lot of talent on the 2013 free-agent market. However, there are definitely some running backs who could provide a big boost to a team in need of improving on the ground.
The trick now will be to avoid overpaying for any of these guys. The lack of available talent will likely drive up the price on the best out there.
Here are the five most intriguing running backs on the free-agent market.
No. 5: Rashard Mendenhall
Who knows what to expect from Rashard Mendenhall?
On the one hand, he is just 25. And in his five-year career, he has rushed for 3,549 yards at 4.1 yards per carry. On the other hand, he is returning from a torn ACL, and after he returned to the Steelers, he was suspended a game for conduct detrimental to the team.
When he did get on the field last season, he rushed for a total of just 182 yards at an average of 3.6 yards per carry.
Mendenhall has potential, but he is also surrounded by red flags.
No. 4: Felix Jones
Felix Jones gained just 402 yards at 3.6 yards per carry last season. He had ample opportunities to impress with the Cowboys last season with DeMarco Murray missing six games, but he couldn't get the job done.
To be fair to Jones, the Cowboys were terrible as a team last year rushing the ball. They finished 31st in rushing yards.
Jones still has nice explosion, but he is also a back that is always just one play away from an injury. He is a nice second option.
No. 3: Shonn Greene
Like Felix Jones, Shonn Greene was stuck behind an offensive line that struggled to run the ball. The Jets were 25th in the league in yards per carry at 3.8.
Considering that, Green's 1,063 yards, gained at an average of 3.9 per carry, don't look so bad.
Green is 27, and he has just 822 carries in his four seasons. He is a dependable back who hasn't missed a game the last two seasons and is a solid starter.
No. 2: Ahmad Bradshaw
Ahmad Bradshaw has played in 16 games in just one of his six NFL seasons. He has missed six regular seasons games the last two seasons. In other words, it is unlikely that Bradshaw will be available for 16 games next year.
However, when he is healthy, he produces. Last year, he rushed for 1,015 at 4.6 yards per carry.
Given his injury history, Bradshaw is a risk, but his upside is appealing.
No. 1: Reggie Bush
Over the last two seasons, Reggie Bush has missed just one game, rushed for over 2,000 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. I guess he can be an every-down back after all.
No, Bush isn't a back a team would want getting over 20-plus carries a game. But 20 touches a game is about right.
Bush may not make it out of Miami. It's not like the Dolphins can afford to lose any playmakers. However, at 27, he would be wise to take the biggest offer he gets.
With his game-breaking skills, Bush would be a big boost to any offense.
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