Three teams that have some serious concerns about their running game heading into the offseason are the Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers. Whether it’s holding on to Arian Foster, paying big for Lamar Miller and simply trying to find a way to improve with a new offensive coordinator, it’s going to call for some big decisions.
The Texans did make the playoffs last season based on playing in the AFC South and some impressive defensive displays at the right time. Their main concern in this offseason is probably finding a quarterback, after the playoff debacle with Brian Hoyer, who looked bad throughout most of the season anyway. But figuring out what to do with the often injured Foster is also a priority.
Foster played in just four games last season before going down with an injury, and has only 25 games in the last three seasons for the Texans. Houston made do without him, relying on Alfred Blue and Chris Polk to finish with 1731 rushing yards as a team, but it’s obvious they need someone better at running back, while cutting Foster could save them $6.625 million in cap space, which is often more than enough to sign a productive running back. But the Texans and Foster have a special thing going, and it won’t be surprising to see his contract reworked, becoming more incentives based, hoping he stays healthy this time for more than one month.
The Miami Dolphins had another disappointing season in 2015, and with Lamar Miller hitting free agency, while the Dolphins aren’t flowing in available cap space, it’s a difficult decision to make. Miller had 1269 yards from scrimmage last season with 10 touchdowns, and he is going to be just 25 when next season begins. Miller is hoping to find big money in free agency, but would like to stick around in Miami, if the money is right.
And then there are the Chargers, who might not be called San Diego by the time next season begins. Ken Whisenhunt returns to something he probably should stick to: Being an offensive coordinator. And his main goal should be getting something out of a running game that got just 1358 yards last season (3.5 yards per rush), which put too much pressure on Philip Rivers. Melvin Gordon had a disappointing rookie season with only 641 rushing yards and 0 rushing touchdowns, but Whisenhunt is likely to design a running offense around him and not look for someone else to carry the load.