Ahmad Bradshaw is returning to the Indianapolis Colts.
A source close to Pro Football Talk first reported the one-year deal Tuesday, while the team's official Twitter feed confirmed the news moments later:
Colts re-sign RB Ahmad Bradshaw to a one-year deal, per league source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 11, 2014
The monetary details are still unknown at this point, but considering Bradshaw signed for $2 million in 2013, per Spotrac.com, and ended up spending most of the season sidelined with injury problems, he likely comes at a bargain—probably somewhere near the veteran's minimum.
When healthy, the soon-to-be 28-year-old can be a nice backfield weapon. He played just three games in 2013 but ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries (4.5 yards per carry) during the span, including a 95-yard effort against the stingy San Francisco 49ers. For his career, he is averaging a healthy 4.6 yards per carry, can protect the quarterback and has shown the potential to be a capable pass-catcher, as well.
How would you grade this signing?
Still, durability is a concern.
Bradshaw has played in 16 games during just one of his seven NFL seasons, and in the past three years, he has missed 19 regular-season contests. Moreover, he's coming off neck surgery in October, which likely gave the Colts and many teams pause.
Nevertheless, this is your typical low-risk "show-me" contract. If Bradshaw isn't able to stay on the field or return to his past form, it's no real big worry to the Colts. If he can make a significant impact, it's a tremendous deal.
It's not as though he'll have to carry a full load, either. Bradshaw will back up the talented-but-frustrating Trent Richardson along with Vick Ballard, who is coming off ACL surgery. The Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder discussed the Colts' backfield situation:
If Ahmad Bradshaw can stay healthy, no reason he can't get significant touches in tandem with Trent Richardson.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) March 11, 2014
Apparently offended many by omitting Vick Ballard. So here goes: I love Vick Ballard. Let's see how he rebounds from ACL and let chips fall— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) March 11, 2014
Meanwhile, as ESPN's Mike Wells noted, this is a move that spells the end for Donald Brown in Indy:
Two things with Bradshaw re-signing. 1. Good bye Donald Brown. 2. The Colts will look to pound the ball w Richardson, Bradshaw and Ballard— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) March 11, 2014
From Richardson's inconsistency to Bradshaw and Ballard's injuries, there are plenty of question marks surrounding Indianapolis' backfield. But there is value in having this kind of depth, and one way or another, the Colts should see production in the running game.