It seems half the NFL is busy looking for a running back, but is C.J. Spiller the answer? At least according to the rumor mill, quite a few teams including the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions seem to think so.
DeMarco Murray is looking for some big money; Frank Gore has been signed by the Colts; Shane Vereen went to the New York Giants. Spiller, not re-signed by the Buffalo Bills, is something of a conundrum. On one hand, he had a very good 2012 season and looked good and healthy in 2013 as well, splitting carries with Fred Jackson. But last season he played in just nine games and ended up up with just 300 rushing yards, not exactly something that entices teams to sign a free agent.
The Patriots lost Vereen. The 49ers lost Gore. The Cardinals have been in trouble when it comes to running the ball for years. The Lions never got too much out of Reggie Bush and are now searching for another weapon to help Matthew Stafford with. The Washington Redskins might be going in the direction of running a lot more than before considering their quarterback issues, and want to take off some of the load from Alfred Morris.
The thing about the NFL these days that no other position is more expendable. A running back leaves? The draft seems to offer an endless supply of young guys without too many carries on their feet and most importantly – coming for a much cheaper price. Not everyone takes their risk with a rookie running back but more often than not, it’s hard saying no when the veterans come with baggage, injuries and god forbid, financial demands.
However, being a running back doesn’t mean that Spiller isn’t going to be a bargain. If he has no lingering injury problems, his speed can be of tremendous value to the team that signs him. Who knows, maybe if DeMarco Murray gets to sign for a new team, the Dallas Cowboys also become one of the chases after Spiller.