FanPost

After the Mallet Hype: The Running Back Sweepstakes

History has a way of letting reason win out in the end. So it is with the Miami Dolphins. I watched for months as people drove themselves crazy, debating over which quarterback we should take, busting a nut over Ryan Mallet, etc. All the while I was smiling to myself, knowing that it was just another case of D-fans doing D-fan things. Chad Henne was always going to get one more year. Logic dictated it and the draft confirmed it.  As my last blog post (and many since then) have confirmed, the collapse of our running game was THE main reason our year collapsed. Now that QB fever is over, it's time to think about the real question -- not of quarterbacks, but of running backs. We have our goal line bruiser in Daniel Thomas. But with Ronnie and Ricky both in free agency, it's time to discuss which FA running back is the best move.

 

DeAngelo Williams (UFA) - Carolina 

RUSHING
Year Team G Att Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD Lng 1st 1st% 20+ 40+ FUM
2010 Carolina Panthers 6 87 14.5 361 4.1 60.2 1 39T 12 13.8 4 0 1
2009 Carolina Panthers 13 216 16.6 1,117 5.2 85.9 7 77 51 23.6 7 3 3
2008 Carolina Panthers 16 273 17.1 1,515 5.5 94.7 18 69T 66 24.2 15 5 0
2007 Carolina Panthers 16 144 9.0 717 5.0 44.8 4 75 27 18.8 5 1 0
2006 Carolina Panthers 13 121 9.3 501 4.1 38.5 1 31 30 24.8 5 0 1
TOTAL 64 841 13.1 4,211 5.0 65.8 31 77 186 22.1 36 9

5

Overview -  Obviously this is the one we all want. A stud back in '08 and '09.  A small, speedy back with keen awareness of gaps, and therefore the perfect compliment to Thomas. Coming off an abysmal season with an abysmal team that can offer him nothing more. 28 years old, and probably not going to get any better. Was placed on IR last year. Free agency might be restricted.

Assessment - Stewart is on lockdown, and DeAngelo has gone as far as he can go with the Panthers. The way I see it, getting DeAngelo is a game of "The Price is Right." Obviously he is an immediate improvement, but I have a feeling Williams will demand more money than he's worth. 28 years old, leaving a franchise where he is the all-time leading rusher, and prior injuries ? We should make a play for the guy, but there is no way he deserves Brandon Marshall money.  Hell, Brandon Marshall doesn't deserve Brandon Marshall money.

Cedric Benson (UFA) - Cincinnati 

CAREER STATSMORE
Season Team Rushing Receiving Fumbles
G GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2010 Cincinnati Bengals 16 16 321 1,111 3.5 26 7 28 178 6.4 24 1 7 5
2009 Cincinnati Bengals 13 13 301 1,251 4.2 42 6 17 111 6.5 19 0 1 0
2008 Cincinnati Bengals 12 10 214 747 3.5 46 2 20 185 9.3 79 0 2 1
2007 Chicago Bears 11 11 196 674 3.4 43T 4 17 123 7.2 19 0 3 2
2006 Chicago Bears 15 0 157 647 4.1 30 6 8 54 6.8 22 0 -- --
2005 Chicago Bears 9 1 67 272 4.1 36 0 1 3 3.0 3 0 1 1
TOTAL 1,256 4,702 3.7 46 25 91 654 7.2 79 1 14

9

Overview:  Mr. Inconsistency. Benson's game-to-game stats are the definition of feast or famine. Has appeared before a grand jury, however long ago it was.  Was banged up hard in Chicago.  Regardless, the man has back to back 1,100 seasons on a team that has looked legitimately awful -- despite a terrible 3.5 ypc and 321 attempts. Same age as DeAngelo. Will likely fetch a cheaper price. Marvin Lewis has indicated that re-signing Benson is "top priority."

Assessment:  Hard to say. Bengals have seemingly given up on Palmer, and TO is on his way out.  Do they really want to give up everything and start from scratch? And do we we want this guy, if they do? The answer to both questions is no.  After two straight seasons of 300+ carries, I say we let them have him

Darren Sproles (UFA)- San Diego

 

 

 

 

 

RUSHING
Year Team G Att Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD Lng 1st 1st% 20+ 40+ FUM
2010 San Diego Chargers 16 50 3.1 267 5.3 16.7 0 34 10 20.0 3 0 1
2009 San Diego Chargers 16 93 5.8 343 3.7 21.4 3 21 15 16.1 2 0 0
2008 San Diego Chargers 16 61 3.8 330 5.4 20.6 1 37 15 24.6 3 0 0
2007 San Diego Chargers 15 37 2.5 164 4.4 10.9 2 34 6 16.2 1 0 0
2006 San Diego Chargers 0 -- 0.0 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
2005 San Diego Chargers 15 8 0.5 50 6.3 3.3 0 21 2 25.0 1 0 0
TOTAL 78 249 3.2 1,154 4.6 14.8 6 37 48 19.3 10 0

1

 

Overview - Has long been relegated to kickoff return duties.  Coming from a team with too many running backs. Better physically preserved than Williams or Benson because he hasn't played as many snaps. Isn't really capable of carrying a team, but that's okay. Very small, even for a speed back. Also from Kansas State, so there is ground for friendship. Can add to thr passing game.

Assessment -  If the big play for Williams fails, then I think THIS is our man. He'll come cheaper and will compliment Thomas extremely well. In terms of value (and this front office is all about value), I say this is our guy. Don't be surprised of we see Sproles in a Fins uniform this fall.

 

Ahmad Bradshaw (UFA) - New York Giants

RUSHING
Year Team G Att Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD Lng 1st 1st% 20+ 40+ FUM
2010 New York Giants 16 276 17.2 1,235 4.5 77.2 8 48T 61 22.1 13 2 7
2009 New York Giants 15 163 10.9 778 4.8 51.9 7 38 46 28.2 6 0 3
2008 New York Giants 15 67 4.5 355 5.3 23.7 1 77 13 19.4 4 1 2
2007 New York Giants 12 23 1.9 190 8.3 15.8 1 88T 6 26.1 1 1 0
TOTAL 58 529 9.1 2,558 4.8 44.1 17 88 126 23.8 24 4

12

 

Overview - A Super Bowl winner on a team that's (sort of) intact. Coming off a big season despite not playing past January (for two straight years). Some ball control issues. Only 24 years old. 2nd round tender. Four surgical procedures in the past two years. Free agency is likely to be restricted.

Assessment - Well wouldn't this be interesting? The guy hasn't always been hot stuff, but he definitely has talent.  I think this is a risky play. And this front office doesn't like risk. Still, you can't help but be curious.

 

 

Honorable mention --

Tim Hightower - He'll be tendered and restricted.

Kevin Faulk - Too old

 

Joseph Addai - Too old

Brandon Jackson - Good value, but doesn't improve our situation.

Brian Westbrook - Too old

Fred Taylor - Too old.

Michael Bush - Illogical now that we have Thomas. Tendered. DUI.

Pierre Thomas - Too injury-prone, too ineffective.

Ladell Betts - Too old.

 

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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