Top Running Backs hit Free Agency
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As league wide free agents hit the market on March 9th, teams have cut expensive players to clear cap space. Among those who fell victim were All-Pro Running Backs, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson. Both currently rank in the top 20 of all-time yards per carry. These moves came as a surprise to some but both needed to be done.
Charles totaled 1,000 yard seasons in five of his first seven seasons with the Chiefs before being plagued with injuries over the course of the last two seasons. Jamaal was among the best rushers and past catchers out of the backfield for almost the last decade. His impact was widely felt but a torn ACL in 2015 started a series of injuries that diminished Charles’ role as a play maker.
Impending free agents including Pro-Bowl Safety Eric Berry and Defensive Tackle Dontario Poe put the Chiefs in an interesting financial situation. Charles was owned another six million dollars if he was kept on the roster after March 9th. The release enabled the Chiefs to sign Berry to a long-term contract and allows the possibility to Franchise tag Poe.
AP currently ranks as the 16th leading rusher of all-time. He holds the record for most yards in a single game at 296, and fell only eight yards short to the single season mark set by Eric Dickerson at 2,105 yards. Although through mammoth success,
Peterson has struggled with injuries and off the field issues. AP only played a single game in 2014 due to a child abuse scandal surrounding his son. Rebounding from this, Adrian returned to form in 2015 before injuring his knee the following year. Similar to Charles, age and injury problems contributed to the release of the player. Surely, a team will give him a chance considering his dominance over the last decade.
Where will they go?
The New York Giants have been front runners to possibly land either of the backs. The release of Rashad Jennings leaves the spot viable for either to have a starting role. Teams including the Redskins, Patriots, Buccaneers, and Packers are among others who are in need of a Running Back and have the cap space to fill the hole.