The NFL free agent market for 2016 could see some notable running backs change teams, as players like Marshawn Lynch, Lamar Miller, Doug Martin, Matt Forte, Chris Ivory, Alfred Morris, LeGarrette Blount, Ronnie Hillman and Arian Foster all could be available this winter.
Lynch and Foster are reportedly candidates to be released by their teams this offseason, while the rest of the names mentioned above are headed towards free agency. The running back position should be one of the main targets this offseason, as a number of teams could use upgrades and depth at that spot on offense. Miller, Forte and Martin should be prime targets for teams and there could be a number of suitors for Miller if he opts to leave the Dolphins.
Forte is not expected to return to the Chicago Bears, as the team did not engage in contract extension talks with the running back through last season. Forte said to the Associated Press that while he would like to return to the Bears, he is not expecting much in the way of a new contract. The Bears have Jeremy Langford coming back after a strong rookie season and with Forte at the age of 30, it could be time to go younger at the position.
Miller is going to be one of the top targets on the market, as he is going to be just 25 by the time next season starts and has not had too much wear and tear on his body. According to James Walker at ESPN, Miller said that while he is "interested" in coming back to Miami, "scheme and fit" will be major factors in where he decides to sign. Miller was reportedly unhappy with his use last season in Miami and over the past few years his use has been questioned by many in the Miami media. Miller had over 1000 yards in 2014, but last season he finished with 872 yards in 16 games while putting up 194 carries.
Martin had a bounce back season after two years of dealing with injuries and inconsistency and he should be a main target for teams if he makes it to the market. According to NFL.com, the Buccaneers and Martin have already started talking about a new contract. New head coach Dirk Koetter reportedly said that he wants Martin to return and there is a chance the team could use the franchise tag if they can't get a deal done. Martin had 1402 yards this season after putting up less than 1000 total combined over the previous two years.
The Dallas Cowboys could be an option to grab an RB, as the team has Darren McFadden and not much else on the roster after this season. The Oakland Raiders may want some depth behind Latavius Murray after finishing in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards overall, while the Giants, Patriots and Dolphins (if they lose Miller) also could be in the market for an RB.