For some time now we knew the Miami Dolphins were going to part ways with and move on from Reggie Bush. For my money Bush fell in love with his jukes and tried to hit home runs on every carry which actually became detrimental to his game, but it is undeniable that he was the team’s top ball carrier in his two seasons with Miami. The team is ready to give the football to Lamar Miller, but my question is what players will round out the backfield group?
Daniel Thomas is sure to get a third chance to show that he is the power back that they projected him to be when they traded up to draft him in the second round back in 2011. Personally I am underwhelmed with Thomas, and I feel that his body size, body type, and running style (his fundamentals) put his body (and his head) in harm’s way far too often. I am a-okay with moving on from Thomas, but the organization is not there (yet) so we will see him get opportunities again in 2013.
That leaves Jonas Gray and Marcus Thigpen as potential in-house options who could get more carries this season, but they have a combined one carry for eight yards (it belongs to Thiggy). Let’s take a look at what free-agent running backs are still up for grabs…
My favorite RB still available has to be Ahmad Bradshaw. This is a guy who was cut by the New York Giants for reasons other than his on-field contributions as Tom Coughlin loves this guy. Considering Miami wants to give the majority of their carries to Miller it is likely a long-shot to land Bradshaw, but a guy can dream!
Felix Jones is a guy who has yet to reach his potential, but considering his five seasons have pretty much all seen him take steps backwards annually he is a guy who Miami would want only if the price was VERY right.
Peyton Hillis is a guy I would welcome, but admittedly I do hear whispers that his days of being a legit NFL contributor are finished. If a physical and evaluation shows he is healthy then I personally would take a chance that he can be the power RB going forward. All things considered we see another guy that would likely only interest the ‘Phins if the price is VERY right.
I am intrigued to see where Michael Turner ends up. His best days are behind him, but the 31 year old is still a red-zone beast and a guy who still scores double-digit touchdowns annually. In his five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Turner averaged a dozen rushing touchdowns per season. The last Dolphins RB to score double-digit touchdowns was Ricky Williams back in 2009. I would be interested in him as my power back.
This past season was a nightmare for Beanie Wells, but what Arizona Cardinals player didn’t reek in 2012? The last healthy season Wells had was 2011 and it seemed to be a break-out season for him as he ran for 1,000+ yards (4.3 yards per carry) and 10 scores. The jury may still be out on Beanie, but I imagine there will be a team that feels the 2011 Wells is closer to the truth than the 2012 version. Will that team be Miami? Long-shot, but not out of the realm of possibility.
Could 30 year old Brandon Jacobs be a viable power back? His 2011 was poor, and his 2012 was a nightmare, but prior to that this was an eight touchdown per year RB. If his poor recent seasons have significantly driven down his price tag then I can see a team taking a chance on him.
We will follow this closely as I am intrigued to see if Miami will add depth to their backfield through free-agency (and/or the draft) or are they truly content with the backfield as-is…Stay tuned!