2018 NFL Free Agents: Should Miami Dolphins consider any of these RB’s?

Dion Lewis of the New England Patriots is an intriguing free agent. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Of all the concerns you could identify for the Miami Dolphins after the 2016 season, running back was not one.

But things have changed.

It is possible that Kenyan Drake continues his excellent play next year, and emerges as a Chris Johnson-type lead back, who belies his lack of prototypical weight with blazing speed.

But coach Adam Gase wants to utilize more than one running back. And frankly, no NFL team should count on one running back to get through a full NFL season unscathed.

Jay Ajayi is gone. And much as been written about it.

He was a Pro Bowler as a Dolphin. He is a Super Bowl champion as an Eagle.

And Damien Williams may be gone, too, as much as Gase respects his full-team contributions.

Do the Dolphins add a running back through free agency? Perhaps C.J. Anderson of the Broncos, if cut, could mesh nicely in a reuniting with Gase. Perhaps Doug Martin, cut from the Bucs, could be a bargain reclamation project.

Or does Miami wait and add a running back in the draft? We think they’ll add at least one free-agent back.

Either way, they’ll probably need to add at least one running back of pedigree. It doesn’t really matter if he’s short or tall, fast or powerful, best at  pass-catching, blocking or moving piles.

He just needs to be good. And good enough to contribute to rotation in 2018.

2017 Starting Running Backs

Jay Ajayi (12 starts)

Pro Football Focus ranking: #14

Age: 24

2018 Contract:  $1.9 million cap hit for Philadelphia Eagles

Kenyan Drake (6 starts)

Pro Football Focus ranking: #17

Age: 24

2018 Contract: $910,000 cap hit

 

Damien Williams (4 starts)

Pro Football Focus ranking: N/A

Age: 25

2018 Contract: Unrestricted Free Agent; Earned $1.8 million in 2017

Top 2018 free agent running backs (and some more affordable options)

Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pro Football Focus ranking: #7

Age: 25

Contract Expectation: $10.7 million/season (Spotrac)

Dion Lewis, New England Patriots

Pro Football Focus ranking: #5

Age: 27

Contract Expectation: $5 million/season (Spotrac)

Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings

Pro Football Focus ranking: #8

Age: 25

Contract Expectation: $4 million/season (Spotrac)

Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers

Pro Football Focus ranking: #52

Age: 26

Contract Expectation: $5.8 million/season (Spotrac)

Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots

Pro Football Focus ranking: N/A

Age: 27

Contract Expectation: $3.3 million/season (Spotrac)

Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals

Pro Football Focus ranking: N/A

Age: 25

Contract Expectation: Earned $938,000 in 2017

LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles

Pro Football Focus ranking: #41

Age: 31

Contract Expectation: Earned $1.25 million in 2017

Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts

Pro Football Focus ranking: #17

Age: 34

Contract Expectation: Earned $4 million in 2017

Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns

Pro Football Focus ranking: #47

Age: 25

Contract Expectation: Earned $2.7 million in 2017

Eddie Lacy, Seattle Seahawks

Pro Football Focus ranking: N/A

Age: 27

Contract Expectation: Earned $4.2 million in 2017

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