2017 NFL Free Agents: Running back options for Miami Dolphins

DeAngelo Williams could be the low-rent backup Miami needs. (Getty Images)

DeAngelo Williams could be the low-rent backup Miami needs. (Getty Images)

Jay Ajayi changed everything for the Dolphins at running back last year. After a summer in which they searched like crazy to find help at that position, they go into the upcoming season confident they’ll be set for a while with their 23-year-old Pro Bowler.

Miami also has second-year running back Kenyan Drake under contract for multiple years and can keep spark plug Damien Williams as a restricted free agent. If they do any shopping at that position this offseason, it’ll likely be for bargains. At most, the Dolphins will probably seek a proven veteran as insurance if Ajayi gets hurt.

Here’s a look at Miami’s running back situation and some of the top options in free agency:

2016 Starting Running Backs

Jay Ajayi (12 starts)

Pro Football Focus ranking: #3 running back

Age: 23

2017 Contract: $580k salary cap hit, signed through 2018

Arian Foster (2 starts)

Pro Football Focus ranking: unranked

Age: 30

2017 Contract: retired

Kenyan Drake (1 start)

Pro Football Focus ranking: unranked

Age: 23

2017 Contract: $800k salary cap hit, signed through 2019

(Note: The starts add up to 15 because the Dolphins did not start a running back in their Week 4 game at Cincinnati)

Top 2017 Free Agent Running Backs (* plus some lower-tier options)

Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh

Pro Football Focus ranking: #1 running back

Age: 25

Contract Expectation: $10.6 million/season (Spotrac)

Latavius Murray, Oakland

Pro Football Focus ranking: #21 running back

Age: 27

Contract Expectation: $6.7 million/season (Spotrac)

LeGarrette Blount, New England

Pro Football Focus ranking: #39 running back

Age: 30

Contract Expectation: $4.4 million/season (Spotrac)

DeAngelo Williams*, Pittsburgh

Pro Football Focus ranking: #23 running back

Age: 33

Contract Expectation: Earned $2.6 million last season

Rashad Jennings*, New York Giants

Pro Football Focus ranking: #58 running back

Age: 31

Contract Expectation: Earned $2.3 million last season

Justin Forsett*, Denver

Pro Football Focus ranking: #62 running back

Age: 31

Contract Expectation: Earned $208k last season

Eddie Lacy*, Green Bay

Pro Football Focus ranking: unranked

Age: 26

Contract Expectation: $2.9 million/season (Spotrac)

[2017 NFL Mock Draft: See who the Dolphins end up with]

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