Dead at 30.
That's what the careers of many great, elite, even historic running backs have become at that age.
It's almost as if doomsday arrives the minute the clock tolls midnight of the 30th birthday.
Despite how relaxing and enjoyable it may seem to retire at 30 years old, no position has had to face the cold, hard truth of the end of their career earlier than the running backs.
Thus, we see many NFL players torn between hanging up the cleats and making a heroic comeback. Ignorant to the blog buzz as well as the word of their doctors, peers, fans, and enemies, these NFL backs hardly look ready to call it a career, and even to defibrillate their careers, if not to perhaps breathe enough life for one last gasp of oxygen.
But plenty of backs have been productive after the age of 30. Just ask the likes of Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, and Jerome Bettis, who were all productive at or beyond the age of 30.
Many teams should be willing to take a chance on any of these backs if it means more consistency in the running game, or even if only for that all-important veteran leadership.
Enough pretense. Here are my top running backs in a new place, or looking for one, with a chance to spike the heart monitor.