The New England Patriots are packed to the brim at running back, but they never do follow the rules everyone else does, and with so much time before the big surge of player cuts happens, there’s nothing really holding them back from signing Arian Foster.
Foster, 29, is visiting Boston, although no one has mentioned any meeting with the Patriots. However, when NFL players and especially free agents simply show up somewhere that can be linked to a potential free agency move, the rumors start spreading.
Is Foster even good enough to help anyone? I think so, and the Patriots probably aren’t the only team out there keeping tabs on him. Foster played only four games last season before an injury ended his season (rupturing his Achilles tendon) but he ran for 1246 yards in 2014, and has four seasons of 1200 yards or more since 2010. The injuries over the last few years have taken their toll, but if he’s healthy, he’s probably good enough to contribute.
The Patriots have Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, James White, Donald Brown, Brandon Bolden, Tyler Gaffney, Joey Iosefa and undrafted D.J. Foster on the roster. They didn’t draft any running backs, despite the position being viewed by many as one of the few weak links they had last season, failing to defend their Super Bowl title. Not making the Super Bowl again might have more to do with Bill Belichick’s arrogance late in the season, which meant losing home field advantage, and playing the AFC championship game in a stadium they always struggle in, losing to the Broncos in Denver for the second time in three years at the conference title game.
With very few talented players that have a nice CV to show left on the market, Foster stands out for the numbers he can show from recent seasons. Even though veteran running backs with two season ending injuries in recent years aren’t the hottest commodity among NFL teams looking for an upgrade, there are worse players than Foster on NFL rosters right now. If he’s healthy, he should be good enough to secure a place for him in the 2016 season, with the Patriots or someone else.