After four years behind Adrian Peterson in Minnesota, most people were expecting Toby Gerhart to move on and find a new home in 2014. That’s exactly what’s happened, as news of Gerhart signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars has emerged.
So what does signing in Jacksonville mean for the talented RB?
Most obviously, Gerhart finally has his chance to shine as a feature back. After a stellar college career which landed him a spot as a Heisman finalist, Gerhart wasn’t ever really given a chance to show off his full skill set in Minnesota. The only time it looked like he might set some serious playing time was when AP tore up his knee, but even then he ended up taking a back seat.
The Jaguars are probably looking at the lack of mileage on Gerhart’s legs as a big time positive. On top of that, I’m sure he’s communicated to them that he’s very hungry and ready to take on a larger role.
Can Gerhart establish himself as a legitimate starting running back in the NFL? I’m skeptical, but I don’t think it’s out of the question. He has all the tools, it’s now just a matter of getting more carries and finding his groove.
As for what this means for the future of Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville, you have to think this is a sign that he’ll be moving on. Gerhart’s not signing on to be a backup again, so this should be the start of a new chapter in the Jaguars backfield.