5 free-agent running back options for the Falcons

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The Falcons have a big question mark at running back with Cordarrelle Patterson entering free agency. If he returns, the converted kick returner would help stabilize the position, assuming the team can afford to re-sign him.

Then there’s Mike Davis, who’s entering the second year of his two-year deal. The team could save $2.5 million by releasing the Atlanta native. While Davis wasn’t very effective in the first year of his contract, neither Patterson, nor Qadree Ollison are every-down backs.

Here are five options at running back for the Falcons in free agency.

RB - Raheem Mostert

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Prior to making his name with the 49ers, Mostert spent time with six other teams between 2015 and 2016. Mostert is a very physical, yet elusive runner with elite speed. However, you’re taking a risk that his speed hasn’t been hampered by his recent knee surgery that ended his 2021 season after the opening week. With the 49ers unlikely to re-sign him, he would bring a more dynamic skill set than Mike Davis currently.

In 2019 and 2020, Mostert averaged 5.6 and 5.0 yards per carry, respectively, on over 100 attempts. Mike Davis totaled 138 carries in 2021 with the Falcons, and only managed 3.6 yards per carry.

RB - Matt Breida

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Breida, like Mostert, made a name for himself under Kyle Shanahan and excelled in San Francisco. Since departing for the Dolphins, then Bills, Breida hasn’t been able to replicate the success he had with the 49ers. However, in Arthur Smith’s system — which is similar in many ways to Shanahan’s — Breida could find success as an alternate to whoever the Falcons decide to bring back in 2022. He’s very shifty but doesn’t have the power of Mike Davis to drive through opponents.

RB - D'Onta Foreman

The Falcons had their hands on Foreman earlier this season, reuniting him with Arthur Smith from their time to together in Tennessee. Atlanta wound up placing Foreman on the practice squad, and after releasing him, the Titans signed him to replace injured star Derrick Henry. Foreman then went on to rush for 566 yards on 133 carries (4.3 yards per attempt) — 63 yards more than Mike Davis on five less carries.

RB - Ty Montgomery

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Ty Montgomery is a player the Falcons could bring in if they are unable to retain Cordarrelle Patterson. Both are converted receivers who excel in the passing game. Montgomery hasn’t had that same level of success since leaving Green Bay, but in Atlanta’s system, his skill set could be properly utilized. If Montgomery were to sign, I think the results would be very similar to those of Patterson.

RB - Cordarrelle Patterson

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Patterson is undoubtedly going to be a top priority for the Falcons this offseason. Not only did he carry the offense, but he has time and time again expressed a strong desire to stay in Atlanta. There’s not too many players who would do this for a team as bad as the Falcons. He sees the growth in the locker room and wants to be apart of what this new regime is building.

However, there are concerns that Patterson out-priced himself for the Falcons, who may not have enough money to address every position they need and still offer fair compensation. You have to think Patterson will want more than the $3 million he was paid a year ago — a total he well outperformed.

Rest of free-agent running backs

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Below is the list of every 2022 free agent running back.

RELATED: 15 free-agent QB options for Falcons

RELATED: 15 free-agent WR options for Falcons

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