MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The Miami Dolphins current running back corps includes Daniel Thomas, Kory Sheets, Lex Hilliard, and others. Needless to say, running back is a position all Dolphins will be watching as unrestricted free agency opens Tuesday.
The Dolphins have a plethora of options to choose from on the free agent wire. The team must determine if they want to bring back Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams. Brown has an injury history a mile long and has played in all 16 games just once in his career.READ MORE: Coral Springs Police: 3 Separate Crime Scenes Tied To One Suspect
Brwon is likely gone from the Dolphins, unless he agrees to take a major pay cut. Williams has run as well as any player in his 30’s ever has, but he tried to burn bridges after the 2011 season. He has said he’s open to returning to the Fins, but the team may not be keen to bringing him back.
The name at the top of any free agent running back list is DeAngelo Williams. The scat back out of the University of Memphis has been a beast when he’s been on the field. In 2008 and 2009, he ran for a combined 2,632 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also caught a combined 51 passes for 373 yards.
Williams is 28-years-old and could give the Dolphins a great third-down back who could step into the starting role if Daniel Thomas was injured. But, he’s going to command big money and it’s unknown whether the Dolphins want to plop down that kind of cash for a running back.
Right behind DeAngelo Williams is Ahmad Bradshaw. His agent, the notorious Drew Rosenhaus, has speculated Bradshaw might be interested in playing in Miami. Rosenhaus admitted on the Joe Rose Show Monday morning he has no proof the Dolphins would even be interested and that it was pure speculation on his part.
In other words, Rosenhaus is trying to give the illusion that Bradshaw is interested in leaving the New York Giants to drive up his value with the team, even though he isn’t interested in playing elsewhere. Still, Bradshaw would be the perfect back for the Fins, if he didn’t cost both arms and a leg.
- Click here to see a gallery of the Dolphins 2011 running back options.
But, adding a new wrinkle to the equation is CBS4’s Jorge Sedano who tweeted out shortly after 1 p.m Monday that Bradshaw to the Dolphins may just happen.
The Dolphins focus has been on smaller, scat backs that have speed to burn. The Fins have been one of the slowest teams in the NFL for years and are just now trying to add speed to the roster.READ MORE: Brightline Celebrates 3 Years Of Service As It Nears Orlando Extension Completion
Two names that have been making the rounds are Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles.
Bush was great his rookie season and since then has battled injuries, along with very poor production for a guy getting paid what he makes. He’s not a free agent now, but the New Orleans Saints will likely cut him unless he agrees to about a $10 million pay cut.
Even if Bush is available, he may not be what the Fins want. He doesn’t contribute much to special teams, is injury prone, and has seen his production decrease to the point of non-existence last season with the Saints.
Sproles on the other hand is another back that would be just what the doctor ordered for the Fins. He’s tiny by NFL standards, 5’6”, 190 pounds, but his production is great and would fit into multiple needs for the Dolphins.
Sproles can catch the ball out of the backfield better than almost anyone in the NFL. Over the last three seasons, he’s caught 133 passes for 1,359 yards and 11 touchdowns. But his biggest contribution to the Dolphins could be on special teams.
Sproles averages 25 yards per kick return in his career and has two touchdowns on kickoffs. He also averages around 8.2 yards per punt return for his career with two touchdowns.
On a team without any proven returners outside of Davone Bess, Sproles would bring speed and consistency to the Dolphins.
Past Sproles, one name that has percolated up from to the service with regards to the Dolphins is Joseph Addai. The former Colt had one of his lowest production years last year, but like Sproles, can catch the ball out of the backfield.MORE NEWS: Ronald Acuña's 1st Game In Miami Since Knee Injury, Leads Braves Past Marlins 5-3
Addai is injury-prone over the last year, so giving him big bucks is likely out of the question for the Dolphins. But, if his price isn’t high, he could be worth the Fins taking a look at in free agency.