The Miami Dolphins and their best running back Reggie Bush are on-again, off-again these days as far as will they do a re-up, but either way it is seeming like Miami is looking to give “lightning” running back Lamar Miller more playing time anyway (article on Miller getting more carries is HERE) and I would love to see the team look to upgrade from their “thunder” running back, Daniel Thomas.
Thomas will be in his third season in 2013 and I think I am in the majority when I say that his first two seasons have been very underwhelming. The team traded up in the 2011 NFL draft to select Thomas in the second round, and the plan was for him to be their power back and short-yardage stud going forward, but he has been terrible in 3rd-and-short and other short-yardage situations. In 2012 we saw Jorvorskie Lane get a few chances on short-yardage, and there is word out of Florida that Jonas Gray will get a shot at earning playing time in 2013 (article on Gray getting more playing time is HERE) so the team is seemingly becoming less and less enchanted with the injury prone Thomas and I would like to see some of their salary cap space spent on a new power back.
Over the next two seasons Thomas will make just $1.5 million combined so there is no need/hurry to make a change for financial reasons, but this is a guy with a measly 3.5 yards per carry average in his 25 games.
I like the idea of adding former New York Jets running back Shonn Greene. He is a guy who has seen his yardage increase annually, and he has gone north of 1,000 rushing yards the last two seasons, plus he had a career-high eight touchdowns and a career-high 52 rushing first downs in 2012. Greene made $841,250 this season so even a solid raise for him would be very affordable for the ‘Phins, plus he did average just 3.9 yards per carry this season so he should come at a very do-able price-tag. I would like to see him as the thunder back for the Dolphins going forward.
Another guy I like for this role is Peyton Hillis. The 6’2″ 250 pound fifth year power back has struggled mightily the past two seasons which should drive his price-tag down to an area that would not be any skin off of Jeff Ireland‘s nose. The past two seasons Hillis is at just 3.6 yards per carry with just four total touchdowns, and 2013 will be his third team in three seasons but I think Miami should consider this guy as a (likely) inexpensive reclamation project that I think could pay off.
I would give consideration to Rashard Mendenhall and Chris Ivory too as they are guys that run hard when they are healthy, but if (potentially big “if”) the Dolphins are looking to upgrade from Thomas I do think that options exist.