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New Starters at RB in '07?

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Postby Loose Circuits » Sun Nov 26, 2006 4:30 am

For now, I'll just breakdown the AFC East and AFC North, but will continue to update this thread when I have time- getting tired right now...



AFC East
Buffalo Bills: McGahee is the starter, but is only making 905K next year (free agent in 2008). I wonder if he'll holdout for a better deal? As for the back-up, A-Train is on a one year deal. He seems to have produced, but will be 30 next year. I don't think they'll re-sign him. I imagine they will be drafting their back-up RB. It may be a high pick if they do not agree to an extension with Willis before that time.

Miami Dolphins:
Ronnie will be the starter. Although this may be a full blown RBBC if Ricky returns in 2007 which he is likely to do. If not, the fish will likely pursue a back-up in the off-season. Minor and Morris are both on 1 year deals. It is possible that Patrick Cobbs will be promoted to be the 3rd string guy if he can hold onto the ball. He led the Patriots in rushing in the preason and looked to have some playmaking ability. We'll know what they think of them if they sign him off the practice squad next week.

New England Patriots:
I am not sure of the exact nature of the 5 year $25 Mil dollar deal Dillon signed before the 05 season. You would think he would be asked to take a paycut or be released. If he takes a paycut, I can see Maroney taking over as the feature guy with Dillon handling the goalline carries. Kevin Faulk's contract doesn't expire until 2010, but you have to wonder if the Patriots are going to pay him 1.9 mil in 2007 (increasing $500k each year after that). FWIW, Pass and Evans are both free agents in 2007. It all depends, but it's possible New England will have a new back-up RB in 2007.

New York Jets:
What a mess. Washington, Barlow, Houston, and Blaylock all have contracts beyond 2007. Washington has looked better than expected. Barlow and Houston have been inconsistent. Blaylock doesn't look the same as he did running behind KC O-line and after suffering a foot injury in 2005. If the right draft pick falls to them (Adrian Peterson anyone), I can see them pursuing that route. Although if the right player doesn't fall in their lap, they do seem to have some decent depth and many other weaknesses on the team to address. I think they could stick w/ the status quo with these guys producing in a RBBC. It should be noted that releasing Barlow will not affect their cap situation, so I think they may audition Cedric Houston down the stretch to see if he is capable of taking care of the short yardage/complement to Leon role. If Kellen Clemens can grasp the offense and beat out Pennington along with an improving relatively young o-line, these guys might be able to produce. Lets remember, Mangini comes from the Belichek plug and play school of thought and was around when they won a super bowl w/ Antowain Smith at RB.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens:
The Ravens have a $5 Mil option on Jamal in 2007. It's hard to say whether they will re-sign him or not. He has produced fairly well since Billick took over play calling duties despite missing Mulitalo at guard and overall poor o-line play. Mike Anderson signed a back-up players contract, and will likely return since he is a quality team player. Musa Smith is a FA and I expect him to be somewhere else next year with PJ Daniels taking over as the 3rd down/COP guy. Cory Ross is also an interesting prospect, he made the 53 man roster, but I don't think he has been active yet...

Cincinatti Bengals:
1) Rudi 2) Perry. Watson is a FA in 2007. Quincy Wilson led the NFL in rushing in the preseason, but is currently on the practice squad. If Watson leaves, I would expect Quincy to be the 3rd string guy in 2007 although they will likely bring in some competition either via a thrifty FA signing or thru the late rounds of the draft. I am surprised another team hasn't claimed Wilson yet...he could be an outstanding goalline back. I thought he was impressive while at West Virginia.

Cleveland Browns
I would expect Rueben Droughns to remain the starter. He just got an extension before the season. Jerome Harrison, however, will likely have an expanded role. I can't seem to find the contract status to Jason Wright. I would expect him to return and factor into the mix if something were to happen to Rueben. Although, keep an eye out for the FB/RB tweener Lawrence Vickers, the 6th round pick could be a solid short yardage back. I would expect the Browns to bring in another mid-round pick to challenge this group of mediocre RB's.

Pittsburgh Steelers:
Willie Parker is a great story, he's the feature back for the near future and has shown a nose for the goalline despite his small stature. He also has held up fairly well thus far in 2006 while carrying the load. Najeh Davenport has done a decent job thus far, but he's on a 1 year contract. I would expect John Kuhn, another tweener FB/RB who was impressive in the preseason, to challenge for the short yardage role. It's hard to figure out why Duce Staley is making 2.5 mil this year to be inactive- I would expect him to be gone next year. Pitt will pursue a RB that will challenge for the back-up job in the draft or via free agency. I don't expect Cedric Humes to ever have an impact...
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Postby Loose Circuits » Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:46 pm

AFC South

Houston Texans:
This situation is not very clear. Domanick Davis might be difficult to cut because of the $8 million signing bonus from 2005 and the corresponding cap implications. It will be difficult for the Texans to pay a free agent Lamont Jordan type money they may demand. It’s hard to determine whether Davis will be healthy and productive in the NFL again. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Domanick Davis will be the starting RB again in Houston thanks to modern day science. I cannot find the contract status of Samkon Gado, but I would assume he probably will not become a RFA until 2008. Wali Lundy will be eligible to become a RFA in 2009. I believe both provide solid depth for coach Gary Kubiak who seemed to spit out 1000 yard rushers in Denver’s offense regardless of name. Chris Taylor, a UDFA out of Indiana, is also an interesting prospect on the practice squad. He performed well during the preseason and will make a push for the 53 man roster next year. With the decent depth, I would not expect them to over spend for a RB. They may try to strike gold in the later rounds of the draft (the Kubiak/Shanny way) or push for a lower tier FA RB. Some say Adrian Peterson would be a good match for the Texans, but offensive line and improving the defense are the glaring weaknesses for this team. Ron Dayne is barely worth mentioning he'll finally be unemployed in 2007.

Indianapolis Colts:
Joseph Addai will be the bellcow in 2007. By the end of the season people in Indianapolis will no longer miss Edgerrin James. Dominic Rhodes will have a smaller role in the offense, but he will see the field in certain situations and to spell Addai. It should be noted that De De Dorsey was claimed off the Bengals practice squad and is currently on the 53 man roster. The Colts must be impressed with him because they relegated Kory Chapman, who had experience in the system and was 2nd in yards from scrimmage in NFL Euro in 2005, to the practice squad. I know I was impressed with Dorsey during his preseason campaign with the Bengals. He looked phenomenal catching the ball out of the backfield and displayed a little shake and bake. He may eventually develop into a COP/3rd down back once he improves his pass protecting ability. I don’t see James Mungro having an impact since he’s a 29 yr old RB with a torn ACL that wasn’t really all that great to begin with. The Colts are another team that may be satisfied with their status quo at RB, but may take a chance in the middle rounds to grab someone to challenge Dorsey and Rhodes for PT in training camp.

Jacksonville Jaguars:
Fred Taylor is unhappy with his contract. He is due to make $2.55 mil in 2007 (plus incentives). Maurice Jones-Drew (MJD) looks like he can handle the load anyways. At the age of 31 with a long injury history, I doubt Fred Taylor will be able to make more money anywhere else. He should stick around and become MJD’s complement. Greg Jones (signed thru 2008) will likely be limited to playing FB with the occasional goal line carry after tearing up both knees in a 5 year span. It should be noted reports on his rehab have been positive. Alvin Pearman (signed thru 2008) will continue to have a reserve/special teams role. LaBrandon Toefield, who looked decent in the season final in 2005, but has been inactive almost all season long may be looking for work next season. How Jacksonville approaches 2007 will largely depend on Fred Taylor. The rumor is he may retire if he can’t get an extension. I would expect them to pursue a free agent RB or use another mid-round pick on a back if Taylor does not return.

Tennessee Titans:
I expect Lendale White to be the starting RB in 2007. Travis Henry will have to either renegotiate his contract or find a job somewhere else. He is due an $8 million bonus at the end of this season that Tenn. does not plan on paying. Practice Squad back Quinton Ganther could be one of the reserve RB’s next year. Since Chris Brown will also likely be elsewhere, I would expect Tenn to pursue a decent reasonably priced veteran free agent RB in the offseason if Henry does not renegotiate.
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Postby steelerfan513 » Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:55 pm

Loose Circuits wrote:New England Patriots:
I am not sure of the exact nature of the 5 year $25 Mil dollar deal Dillon signed before the 05 season.


they can either keep him or they can cut him and lose nothing. one would think that it isnt worth it unless they can get him to take a paycut.
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Postby BlueBandit24 » Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:04 pm

I think Atlanta becomes an RBBC, if not completely turning over to Norwood. Dunn is slowing down and the past 2 years his 2nd halfs have been much quieter than his 1st halfs. Norwood provides them with a more explosive option who can help them more in the redzone and the passing game. I think it's only a matter of time before the torch is passed to Norwood.
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Postby Loose Circuits » Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:14 pm

BlueBandit24 wrote:I think Atlanta becomes an RBBC, if not completely turning over to Norwood. Dunn is slowing down and the past 2 years his 2nd halfs have been much quieter than his 1st halfs. Norwood provides them with a more explosive option who can help them more in the redzone and the passing game. I think it's only a matter of time before the torch is passed to Norwood.
do you reallly think Norwood can help in the RZ? I don't see that happening...they need a bigger back ala Jacobs/Duckett/BarberIII. Hell, even Antowan Smith might be able to help them at this point...I'd say Leonard (rutgers) would be worth drafting if they don't re-sign Griffith...he can be used as FB in base sets, and then RB at the stripe
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Postby BlueBandit24 » Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:24 pm

Loose Circuits wrote:
BlueBandit24 wrote:I think Atlanta becomes an RBBC, if not completely turning over to Norwood. Dunn is slowing down and the past 2 years his 2nd halfs have been much quieter than his 1st halfs. Norwood provides them with a more explosive option who can help them more in the redzone and the passing game. I think it's only a matter of time before the torch is passed to Norwood.
do you reallly think Norwood can help in the RZ? I don't see that happening...they need a bigger back ala Jacobs/Duckett/BarberIII. Hell, even Antowan Smith might be able to help them at this point...I'd say Leonard (rutgers) would be worth drafting if they don't re-sign Griffith...he can be used as FB in base sets, and then RB at the stripe


By help, I mean he can be more effective than Dunn, and obviously more effective than the passing game. A bruiser would definitely be more suited for the role, but if they fail to add one, I think they would be wise to give Norwood a shot inside the 20.
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