Veteran RB options that could stil make sense for the Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have not done anything this offseason to address their running back room thus far. It would appear they are confident in what Chase Edmonds can do as a starter. However, it does go against what they have done at the rest of the positions on the roster, as they have added veteran experience almost everywhere.
But with the NFL draft coming at the end of this month, they might wait and see until after that. Plus, if they wait to sign a player until after the draft, it will not affect the potential of compensatory draft picks. Right now, they are projected to receive three next year.
What traits would fit?
Ideally, it would be a player in a stage of his career where he is capable of starting but would be content sharing the offensive load with Edmonds.
Having some size to complement Edmonds is a plus, but also being a similar back to Edmonds also allows the Cardinals to use them interchangeably if needed.
Below are some options who are on the market.
(AP Photo/Don Wright)
Conner is a very nice fit in a number of ways. He is a big back at 6-1 and 233 pounds, so he adds a different dimension to the running game. He has been a starter for the last three seasons, but many feel he is a better fit in a complementary role. He can contribute in the passing game, giving the Cardinals flexibility. He also has a connection with Cardinals running backs coach James Saxon, who had the same job with the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he has yet to play all 16 games in a season. Durability has been an issue. His price tag might also be an issue, although at this point, he probably will not be able to demand much.
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Gurley is big and was once arguably the best running back in the NFL. He also adds a dimension to the passing game. However, durability is also a concern and he has averaged less than four yards per carry each of the last two seasons. He looks spent. However, he is a veteran and could certainly bear the rushing load in a pinch. The question is how much he has left in the tank.
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The Cardinals have added two former Cincinnati Bengals in A.J. Green and Shawn Williams. Bernard has been in the league since 2013. He has been a complementary back pretty much his whole career. He can catch the ball but he also has failed to average four years per carry each of the last three seasons. He was released Wednesday by the Bengals. He does not give the Cardinals any more size. He is basically the same as Edmonds.
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Bell was once the man in the NFL. Like Gurley, he was once arguably the best running back in the league. He would give the Cardinals a bigger back at 6-1, 225. He also had his best seasons when James Saxon, the Cardinals' running backs coach, was Bell's position coach with the Steelers. He is 29 years old and is capable of being an every-down back, and when he was with the New York Jets, he wasn't bad. The line in front of him was. There are, though, questions about him as a leader in the locker room.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Gallman offers a little more size than Edmonds at 6-0 and 215 pounds. He was the complementary back for the New York Giants until Saquon Barkley got hurt. Then, he became the focal point of the offense, rushing for 682 yards and six scores on 4.6 yards per attempt. He also has some pass-catching ability as well. His performance in both roles as a starter and as a role player make him a solid fit with Edmonds and the Cardinals Listen to the latest from Cards Wire's Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Latest show: