Here is a list of select Running Backs who currently have the opportunity to become unrestricted free agents at that time. These players can re-sign with their current teams at any time and can begin to negotiate with other teams beginning on March 9th.
Ahmad Bradshaw/Giants/(5’10, 214): Bradshaw, who dealt with some knee and ankle injuries the past few seasons, was released by the Giants on Feb. 6, so he is eligible to sign a deal before the beginning of next week’s free agency period. A six-year veteran, Bradshaw burst onto the scene during the Giants’ first Super Bowl run in 2007 and became a key player in New York. The 26 year old, who was a seventh-round pick out of Marshall, led the Giants in rushing the past three seasons, finishing with 1,015 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. Bradshaw has consistently found the endzone in his career, averaging 7.5 rushing touchdowns a year the past four seasons.
Reggie Bush/Dolphins/(6′, 203): The Dolphins will need to make a decision on whether to attempt to retain Bush, the team’s starting running back the past two seasons. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft has anwered critics’ questions of durability and toughness after ariving in Miami via trade before the 2011 season, nearly putting up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. In 2012, the 28-year-old Bush finished with 986 rushing yards, 292 receiving yards and eight total touchdowns.
Shonn Greene/Jets/(5’11, 226): A 2009 second-round pick out of Iowa, Greene was New York’s feature back the past two seasons, putting up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. The 27-year-old Greene has been quite durable throughout his four-year career, playing in 61 of a possible 64 games. In 2012, he set career highs in rushing yards (1,063) and rushing touchdowns.
Steven Jackson/Rams/(6’2, 240): Jackson, a two-time All-Pro, has spent his entire nine-year career in St. Louis, posting at least 1,000 yards rushing the past eight years — he only failed to reach 1,000 yards in 2004, his rookie season, playing behind veteran Marshall Faulk). At this stage in his career, Jackson, 29, will come with age and health concerns and likely would be best suited in a complementary role. The Rams’ 2004 first-round pick out of Oregon State finished with 1,042 rushing yards in 2012.
Rashard Mendenhall/Steelers/(5’10, 225): Coming off of an ACL injury, Mendenhall couldn’t get really his footing in 2012, only playing in six games — starting four — due to several minor injuries. The Illinois product, a second rounder in the 2007 draft, had an extremely productive stretch from 2009-11, scoring 29 rushing touchdowns. He could potentially seek a short term-deal.
Michael Turner/Falcons/(5’10, 247): Turner, like Bradshaw, was a salary cap casualty in Atlanta, meaning he is eligible to sign with a new team at any time. Turner, 31, played sparingly but extremely effectively in a limited role behind LaDanian Tomlinson in San Diego, earning a long-term contract with Atlanta, where he flourished as the featured back. In 2008, his first year in Atlanta, Turner rushed for 1,699 yards and 17 touchdowns, helping lead the Falcons to a playoff birth in Matt Ryan’s rookie season. The Northern Illinois product was similarly effective during the rest of his tenure in Atlanta, finishing with at least 10 touchdowns the past five seasons. He rushed for 800 yards in 2012.
Check out the rest of the Finsiders Free Agency Previews here
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