The NFL Free Agent period starts March 11 and rumors are already coming out as names like Knowshon Moreno, Darren McFadden, Toby Gerhart, LeGarrette Blount, Donald Brown and Maurice Jones-Drew are the top running back players that will get attention on the market and some teams in the mix could be the NY Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and NY Giants.
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All of those teams could use some help at running back, even the Eagles, who had the leading rusher in the league last season in LeSean McCoy, as he will not be able to hold up with all the wear and tear he takes as the primary back for Chip Kelly. Bryce Brown is solid, but he did not do enough last season to spell McCoy consistently and that puts the team in the mix for some of the lower level free agents and names like Toby Gerhart, LeGarrette Blount and Ben Tate could be options.
Kelly had Blount in college and after the way he played for the Patriots this past season he may have put himself in a position to cash in on the market. The NY Jets are an interesting team to keep an eye on as well, as they have Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, but the team has said they are hoping to add even more depth at the position since Mike Goodson is likely done for. The team could go after someone like Donald Brown according to ESPN.com, as he would be a chapter option after names like McFadden or Moreno.
McFadden is getting attention from the Raiders and they could look to re-sign him if he doesn't ask for too much money, but someone like the Dallas Cowboys or Giants could step up and bring him in. While McFadden has dealt with injury issues for the bulk of his career, the upside could be worth it for some teams, as he has explosive speed and is a great receiver out of the backfield when he can stay healthy. McFadden has missed 19 of the past 41 games for the Raiders and that's an issue and depending on how the free agent market develops, he is a name to watch.
The position is deep this offseason and names like Blount along with James Starks, Ben Tate, Dexter McCluster and Maurice-Jones Drew should be getting attention. Moreno will be one of the top names on the market after the season he had, as he went over 1,000 yards and 10 scores for the first time and somehow he is a free agent and he could be the player that gets the most attention and the biggest contract offer. Moreno had 1,038 yards last season and that was his best career year, while McFadden has to look back a few seasons to his 2010 year when he had 1,157 yards and seven touchdowns and teams will be looking at that as what they hope for when they sign him despite the injuries.