Willis McGahee: Odds on Where Former Broncos RB Will Land

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IJune 13, 2013

Willis McGahee: Odds on Where Former Broncos RB Will Land

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    Now that the Denver Broncos have cut running back Willis McGahee, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it's the appropriate time to decide where he could land next. 

    The 30-year-old joins Michael Turner, Beanie Wells, Cedric Benson, Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis among the veteran free-agent running backs looking for an NFL job. 

    McGahee has 2,159 career touches and a career 4.1 yards-per-carry average.

    However, ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required), rated him as a top-15 blocking back, and he did average 4.6 yards per rush in his two years with the Broncos. 

    Also, McGahee's coming off a broken leg and a torn MCL, injuries that prematurely ended his 2012 campaign.

San Diego Chargers

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    Starter: Ryan Mathews

    Primary backup(s): Danny Woodhead, Ronnie Brown, Edwin Baker

    Mathews has all the desired physical attributes to be a productive, three-down feature back in the NFL. Unfortunately, his pro career has been marred by nagging injuries, which frankly, could have been foreshadowed by his collegiate career at Fresno State. 

    The former Bulldogs great missed four games in 2010, two games in 2011 and four more in 2012 after he broke his clavicle in the San Diego Chargers' first preseason outing. 

    Woodhead is a serviceable change-of-pace back, yet he's basically limited to a situational, third-down role. 

    Brown actually has a chance to garner considerable playing time if Mathews goes down again, but adding McGahee as injury insurance wouldn't be foolish at this point. 

    Odds: 10 percent

Miami Dolphins

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    Starter: Lamar Miller 

    Primary backup(s): Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee

    When the Miami Dolphins decided not to re-sign Reggie Bush, it was obvious they were ready to move forward with 2012 fourth-round pick Miller as their feature back. 

    But that doesn't mean they couldn't use McGahee as a solid veteran presence who could mentor the club's younger backs, especially with pass protection.

    Miller has the physical makeup (5'10'', 218 pounds, 4.4 speed) to be a three-down runner who excels between the tackles and outside them. But with serious question marks behind him, McGahee could seriously contend for the backup role.

    Thomas' job—or roster spot, for that matter—wouldn't be safe if McGahee was added.

    Odds: 15 percent

Dallas Cowboys

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    Starter: DeMarco Murray

    Primary backup(s): Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, Phillip Tanner

    Murray has established himself as one of the most violent and intimidating running backs in the NFL.

    However, he's also established that he can't stay healthy. 

    The former Oklahoma Sooner star missed six games in 2012 with a foot injury after his breakout 2011 campaign was cut short when he fractured his ankle. 

    There's talent behind him, but Dunbar and Tanner have a combined 68 career NFL carries. 

    Randle, a 2013 draftee, will fight for the primary backup role, yet he's recovering from thumb surgery. 

    Safe to say, acquiring an established veteran like McGahee would been seen as a shrewd move for Jerry Jones. 

    Odds: 20 percent

Oakland Raiders

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    Starter: Darren McFadden 

    Primary backup(s): Rashad Jennings, Latavius Murray, Jeremy Stewart, Taiwan Jones

    The Oakland Raiders are relatively devoid of offensive talent, and their unquestioned feature back McFadden has a vast injury history. 

    He's never played a full, 16-game season and has missed 13 games over the last two years. 

    The 6'3'', 223-pound Murray was selected in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, and the rest of the Raider running backs are decidedly inexperienced. 

    Dennis Allen knows what he'd get with McGahee, as he was a member of the Denver Broncos coaching staff in 2011 before being hired in Oakland.

    Odds: 25 percent

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Starter: Doug Martin

    Primary backup(s): Brian Leonard, Mike James, Mike Smith

    Martin was a versatile offensive weapon as a rookie, and he looks ready to morph into Ray Rice 2.0 in the coming years. 

    The rest of the Tampa Bay running back depth chart? Well, it's scary. 

    Leonard has 174 rushing attempts in six professional seasons and has a career yards-per-carry average of 3.7. 

    Neither James nor Smith has ever carried the ball in a regular-season game. 

    In today's NFL, running back committees are the logical way to keep feature backs fresh and maintain maximum running-game efficiency. McGahee could mentor the talented Martin, while aiding in pass protection.

    Odds: 30 percent


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