On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Colts signed unrestricted free agent Ahmad Bradshaw to add a veteran presence to a very inexperienced and unproductive running back group (26th in yards per carry).
Bradshaw was believed to be the one of the best running backs available this offseason, but scared teams away due to his durability issues. After three months of waiting, Bradshaw and the Colts agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.1 million in base salary. Bradshaw is coming off a solid season where he ran for 1,015 yards (4.6 per carry) and six touchdowns despite missing four games due to injuries.
When training camp opens, Bradshaw will be competing with second-year running back Vick Ballard, who is coming off a very mediocre rookie campaign where he rushed for 814 yards (3.9 per carry) with three total touchdowns. Despite these numbers, Indy’s head coach Chuck Pagano loves Ballard and says he will most likely be the top running back at the start of training camp. This may have a lot to do with the fact that Bradshaw is still rehabbing from offseason surgery on his foot.
With the addition of Bradshaw, the Colts roster is very clustered with running backs (nine on the roster). While many of them are extremely untested, the main group of backs competing for snaps will be Donald Brown, Ballard and Bradshaw. While having three guys that can carry the ball effectively is every coach’s dream, it is a fantasy owner’s nightmare. With the signing of Bradshaw, it almost makes all of these players undraftable as they will all take away carries and touchdowns from each other. Fantasy owners should only be looking to draft Bradshaw as a bench filler or a possible flex position player.