Skip to main content

Who's Out There? Free-Agent Running Backs


The Ravens want to bring back Justin Forsett, but there are reportedly other interested suitors if he hits the market. 

If Forsett leaves, Baltimore may look to the free agency to get a veteran in their stable of running backs.

Here's a look at who's out there (barring they sign with their current teams before free agency opens on March 10):

Top Tier

DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
Unrestricted; 27 years old; 6-foot-0, 217 pounds
2014 Stats: 1,845 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns; 57 catches, 416 yards
Murray was a candidate for the franchise tag, but the Cowboys opted to give it to wide receiver Dez Bryant instead. Murray was AP's Offensive Player of the Year last season, as he exploded onto the scene. He's quick, elusive and strong with a great pair of hands. Murray's only weakness is fumbles (he lost five). He'll likely be too expensive for the Ravens.

Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens
Unrestricted; 29 years old; 5-foot-8, 197 pounds
2014 Stats: 1,266 yards, 8 touchdowns; 44 catches, 263 yards
After bouncing around between four other teams previously, Forsett found a home in Baltimore. When Ray Rice was suspended and cut, Forsett proved he could be a starting running back in his seventh season. His 5.4 yards per carry was tops among NFL running backs. He was a great presence in the locker room, as well. He wants to stay and the Ravens want to keep him.

Solid Options

Shane Vereen, New England PatriotsUnrestricted; 26 years old; 5-foot-10, 205 pounds
2014 Stats: 391 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns; 52 catches, 447 yards, 3 touchdowns
Vereen isn't your typical three-down running back, as he's more of an all-around offensive weapon. The Patriots often split him out wide and handed him the ball less than twice the number of times they threw it to him. Still, Vereen is coming off his biggest year as a pro, and showed that he can be a valuable asset.* *

Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
Unrestricted; 27 years old; 6-foot-0, 220 pounds
2014 Stats: 330 yards, 3 touchdowns; 9 catches, 69 yards
Mathews put up two 1,000-yard seasons, but he's inconsistent and hasn't been able to stay healthy. Mathews was limited to just six games last season and has only played a full 16-game season once in his five years. When he's on the field, he's a very talented running back, but that's been a big if.


Roy Helu, Washington Redskins
Unrestricted; 26 years old; 5-foot-11, 215 pounds
2014 Stats: 216 yards, 1 touchdown; 42 catches, 477 yards, 2 touchdowns
Helu has never gotten his chance to break out in Washington, partly because he backed up Alfred Morris. He's started just five games during his four-year career. He averaged a whopping 5.4 yards per carry last season, however, and has proven to be a very capable pass catcher.

Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
Unrestricted; 27 years old; 6-foot-1, 218 pounds
2014 Stats: 534 yards, 2 touchdowns; 36 catches, 212 yards
McFadden has never panned out to be the monster lead running back people expected when he was the fourth-overall draft pick in 2008. He has had just one season over 1,000 yards. A large part of under-producing has been because of a variety of injuries. He's only played in all 16 games once in seven years, although that came last year. He still only posted 3.4 yards per carry, however.

Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Unrestricted; 30 years old; 5-foot-11, 215 pounds
2014 Stats: 222 yards, 2 touchdowns; 45 catches, 378 yards, 1 touchdown
The shifty veteran is accustomed to the stretch zone run scheme, which was used in New Orleans. He's been a starter but mostly operated his entire career as one half of the Saints' balanced backfield, sharing touches with several other players. Thus, Thomas still has plenty of tread on his tires. He's a good pass catcher who can also block, and he averaged an impressive 4.9 yards per carry last season.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content