Dec 22, 2011; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Joseph Addai (29) runs with the ball against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The Top 5 Available Free Agent RB’s: Who’s Left?

Aug 14, 2010; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers backfield players Shawnbrey McNeal (40), Mike Tolbert (35), Ryan Matthews (24), Curtis Brinkley (44), and Marcus Mason (29) huddle during the preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

 

With the Chargers apparently still in the Market for a #2 running back behind Ryan Mathews we will take a look at the top five most productive free agent running backs left on the market.  Granted, the list is not exceptionally exciting but one of these players could/should end up on the Chargers 53 man roster come week one.  This is a veritable scrap heap of veterans, the Bolts could really hit or miss here and I’ve already stated my opinion on Curtis Brinkley.  Can AJ pull another rabbit out of his hat and find a guy who can stay healthy and have an impact on an already explosive offense?  We shall see.

Jan 7, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson (32) carries the ball during the AFC Wildcard Playoff game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Bengals 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

 

#1: Cedric Benson

Regular Season Rushing Stats
SEASON TEAM

GP

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FD

FUM

LST

2005

9

67

272

4.1

36

0

12

1

1

2006

15

157

647

4.1

30

6

33

0

0

2007

11

196

674

3.4

43

4

33

3

2

2008

12

214

747

3.5

46

2

36

2

1

2009

13

301

1,251

4.2

42

6

57

1

0

2010

16

321

1,111

3.5

26

7

59

7

5

2011

15

273

1,067

3.9

42

6

53

5

2

Career

91

1529

5,769

3.8

46

31

283

19

11

NOTE:  Benson is probably unlikely considering AJ likes high character guys, but having a guy like this on the roster would give the Chargers a proven commodity to help Ryan Matthews carry the load.  Benson could also step in as a full time starter if #24 happens to go down with an injury (fingers crossed).  Benson is a load, and has three seasons in a row with over 1000 yards rushing and a combination of both him and Matthews could be unstoppable.

December 18, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jackie Battle (26) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

 

#2:  Jackie Battle

Regular Season Rushing Stats
SEASON TEAM

GP

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FD

FUM

LST

2007

3

14

47

3.4

6

1

3

0

0

2009

5

7

21

3.0

12

0

3

0

0

2010

16

20

50

2.5

7

1

7

0

0

2011

15

149

597

4.0

34

2

27

0

0

Career

48

190

715

3.8

34

4

40

0

0

 

NOTE:  Battle has already been to Chargers Park for a visit and left without signing a contract.  The Bolts are high on his combination of speed and size so I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up  back in SD.  He might be asking for too much money which could change as other free agents start to set the market for guys in his class, if that happens expect him to consider coming in to absorb some of Mike Tolbert’s duties from last year.

Feb 5, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (27) runs the ball during Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Faytok/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

 

#3:  Brandon Jacobs

Regular Season Rushing Stats
SEASON TEAM

GP

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FD

FUM

LST

2005

16

38

99

2.6

21

7

19

1

1

2006

15

96

423

4.4

16

9

33

2

1

2007

11

202

1,009

5.0

43

4

49

4

3

2008

13

219

1,089

5.0

44

15

57

3

1

2009

15

224

835

3.7

31

5

43

2

1

2010

16

147

823

5.6

73

9

39

2

2

2011

14

152

571

3.8

28

7

32

3

0

Career

100

1078

4,849

4.5

73

56

272

17

9

NOTE:  Brandon Jacobs looks the perfect part to stick into the #2 role because of his awesome size (6’4” 264 lbs.) and experience pounding the ball on short yardage situations but is considered a long shot to end up in San Diego.  It’s been said that he doesn’t have the type of attitude to fit into the locker room, and his health is always a concern being such a big pounding type of runner.  I actually like the Jacobs idea, I think if we could limit his carries he could stay healthy and in turn, productive.  I’d say there might be a 25% chance of Jacobs this year (my best meteorologist impression) and that’s being generous I’d wager.  Maybe AJ will realize that a nasty streak might not be the worst thing in the world, although I’m not a huge proponent of Jacob’s propensity to bad mouth his teammates.

Jan 15, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant (25) runs against New York Giants outside linebacker Michael Boley (59) during the first half in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

 

#4:  Ryan Grant

Regular Season Rushing Stats
SEASON TEAM

GP

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FD

FUM

LST

2007

15

188

956

5.1

66

8

36

0

0

2008

16

312

1,203

3.9

57

4

53

4

3

2009

16

282

1,253

4.4

62

11

61

0

0

2010

1

8

45

5.6

18

0

2

0

0

2011

15

134

559

4.2

47

2

27

1

1

Career

63

924

4,016

4.3

66

25

179

5

4

 

NOTE:  Nursing injuries basically all of 2011 certainly didn’t help Ryan Grant’s value in free agency this year, and he was basically overtaken by James Starks as they starter in Green Bay.  He’s not exactly a great fit as far as size goes at 6’1” 222 lbs. and that will probably be the deciding factor.  This is a tough call for me because Grant has been productive and explosive when he’s not injured, I wonder what a reduced role would to for his health in general.  If Grant could be had for a team friendly price tag it might be a consideration but there has been some talk of his returning to The Packers.

 

#5:  Joseph Addai

Regular Season Rushing Stats
SEASON TEAM

GP

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FD

FUM

LST

2006

16

226

1,081

4.8

41

7

66

2

2

2007

15

261

1,072

4.1

23

12

65

0

0

2008

12

155

544

3.5

23

5

34

1

1

2009

15

219

828

3.8

21

10

44

1

1

2010

8

116

495

4.3

46

4

31

2

1

2011

12

118

433

3.7

16

1

16

1

0

Career

78

1095

4,453

4.1

46

39

256

7

5

 

NOTE:  This is a player whose been connected by to San Diego by a few different sources and that the Chargers themselves have not confirmed this is interesting.  AJ is known for playing it close to the vest and then crashing in at the last second with “an offer he couldn’t refuse”.  The Chargers might be waiting to see what teams are interested in Addai and at what price.  With his numbers being down in 2011 and having played only 12 games due to injury he might be had for the veterans minimum.  If so, do not be surprised if the Bolts snatch up the former Colt who is known for being a smart player if not a durable one.

Now, It’s a possibility that we don’t end up with any of these players in 2012, possible not probable.  The Chargers front office is said to be committed to putting a winning product on the field this year, and they have made some significant moves so far.  I would like to believe they will fill the void left by Tolbert with a player who can effectively do the same things he did;  crash through line backers at the goaline and catch dump off passes in the flat and turn them into first downs.  Not to mention fill in for Ryan Matthews for the two or three games he sits out with a sprained ankle (sorry, it’s true and you know it) and possibly contributing on special teams where Tolbert was a standout.  Who do you weant as the #2 RB San Diego fans?  Say it loud enough and they might even hear us over in Murphy Canyon.

 

Follow me on TWITTER @chefgilbsSD- Questions or topics? [email protected]

 

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: A.J. Smith Cedric Benson Colts Free Agency Green Bay Packers Jackie Battle James Starks Joseph Addai Mike Tolbert Ryan Grant Ryan Mathews

  • BoogaP

    Great Job Ryan.  I would really like Addai and agree that he is kind of creeping along in free agency.  He would be my first choice.  Benson, although having character issues, would be my second.  Not interested in Jacobs.  That guy belongs with the Jets and it doesn’t appear that they will pick him up either.  Grant is too injury prone.  Really liked him a couple years ago.  It will certainly be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • http://boltbeat.com/ epadaon

    i would love to get Addai in here… another player i really like that is not on your list is Justin Forsett… Forsett is a different type of back then the rest of the ones listed, but I think he brings in a nice dimension to the offense

  • jacoboJSH

    @chargersbuzztap Brandon Jacobs is great Now we can have @rmathews24 , curtis Brinkley and Brandon Jacobs

  • RMainwaring

    If the Chargers should get a free agent RB, the one stat that stood out to me was the 0 in the fumble column for Battle. I would be willing to bet AJ goes with him cuz he’ll be cheap. I think they should just stick with Brinkley and draft a big back in the later rounds.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ epadaon

       @RandyMainwaring that is a HUGE stat and we have noticed that even more with LT gone and fumbling Ryan taking over.. we have to protect that football, especially when we get down deep near the goal line. 

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  • Chargertom

    Bring back L.T.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ epadaon

       @Chargertom as much as i love LT, AJ squashed that idea a little bit ago. 
       
      i think it is more than just AJ that doesnt want him back in the locker room. I think he rubbed some of his old teammates the wrong way when he exited. 
       
      fans would love it, but its not gonna work out

    • BoogaP

       @Chargertom
       Not gonna happen.  Ernie is right.  A.J. squashed that notion along with the possible of re-signing of Osgood.

  • SandyPeisner

    Draft a running back guys like Ronnie Hillman or Chuck Rainey will be available and less$. They can pick up Vet if they need to as season goes on.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ epadaon

       @SandyPeisner very good point.. would love to get hillman here, not just because of the local ties, but he is one sweet running back. 

      • RMainwaring

         @epadaon  @SandyPeisner Hillman is an awesome running back and would fill in nicely as a Sproles replacement but don’t get your hopes up. If Smith gets a RB through FA, I think he’ll concentrate on defense in the draft.

    • BoogaP

       @SandyPeisner
       Chris Rainey.  Tomato/tomAtoe…. Anyway, I own 3 Mathews jerseys for a reason.  I begged for him and Cam Thomas to be drafted for multiple reasons….. Got those wishes.  That being said about Mathews, I don’t want a rookie to be our “second in command” if he gets injured or decides to continue to put the ball on the carpet again.  Rainey or Hillman, in my opinion, should be drafted by the Bolts in the third round.  Read “Mock this!” I wrote that a couple days ago.
       
      Cedric Benson, Joseph addai, or Justin Forsett( thanks Ernie) would be my hopes to fill RB# 2 for our Chargers. 
       
      Don’t “wait for the season to go on” and miss out on a decent #2 while hoping to fill the need down the line.

  • MikeTuck

    Drafting Hillman or James or even another quick RB would be a better pick than one of the freeagents.

    • BoogaP

       @MikeTuck
       MIke-
       
      We need a number 2 in the case that Mathews gets injured.  Hopefully not a rookie.

  • SandyPeisner

    You are hopefully right however Chuck Rainey from Florida or James from Oregon will most likely be around 5th round

  • MikeTuck

     @BoogaP James, Hillman,or Rainey will be fine as #2 will be McClain at the RB position. He’s listed as our FB but RB is his position too! So our #3 RB should be a fresh horse. Mathews isn’t the only RB in history to put the ball on the ground. Marcus Allen, and a host of others that were great runners did the same thing their first few years. So let go with this Mathews has a problem, he also has a great Running game.