Offseason Low Down
Running Backs: On the Move?
Monday, January 07, 2013
Accessible via Nick Mensio's Master List, this year's free agent running back class is topped off by three or four capable starters and roughly ten viable No. 2 backs. Cap cuts and trade candidates can strengthen the 2013 running back market. When attempting to pinpoint backs that might be on the offseason move, we begin with high-salaried players and progress toward running backs nearing the end of contracts, on teams who likely have no intention of extending them long term.
Chris Johnson -- $9 million of Johnson's $10 million 2013 base salary will become guaranteed on February 9. While the Titans could theoretically cut Johnson before that date and take themselves off the hook for the remainder of the guarantees in his contract, the Nashville Tennessean has reported that they'll keep Johnson and pay him in full. Despite maddening inconsistency, the Titans view Johnson as a core offensive player and have plenty of 2013 cap space to retain him.
DeAngelo Williams -- Signed to one of the worst running back contracts in league history two offseasons ago, Williams turns 30 in April and is owed $4.75 million in 2013 base pay after averaging a full yard less per carry than he did in 2011. All of Williams' guaranteed money has been paid, but the $4.85 million hit to release him may be prohibitive for cap-strapped Carolina.
Ahmad Bradshaw -- Bradshaw's feet and knees have become unreliable to the point that he can barely practice anymore leading up to games. Although still effective on the field, the Giants may deem Bradshaw's $4 million in salary and bonuses too costly for a likely timeshare back lacking durability. They could save $1.5 million versus the cap by releasing Bradshaw after the season.
Michael Turner -- Turner is the surest big-name veteran running back to be released this offseason after first-year Falcons coordinator Dirk Koetter progressively phased him out of the offense as the 2012 season moved along. Lacking short-area burst and passing-game value, Turner turns 31 in February and is owed a $5.5 million salary, none of which is guaranteed.
more: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/4 ... n-the-move