One of the more popular names in this free agency market is Toby Gerhart, coming off another very efficient season for the Minnesota Vikings, making the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns very interested in adding the running back to their team.
Gerhart has been playing behind Adrian Peterson since 2010, meaning he hasn’t gotten too many touches. But he has been solid, if not better, whenever he has had the chance to play a bigger part in the offensive game.
He has played in 61 NFL games since 2010, but in only seven of them has he touched the ball more than 15 times. However, in those opportunities to show what he’s worth as a #1’ish back, he has averaged more than 90 yards per game, which means that with very few NFL miles on his legs, there’s a very good chance to get a lot of out of him and for a very cheap price.
Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press suggests the 49ers are an option that Gerhart would like because he played for Jim Harbaugh in Stanford, where he was quite the workhorse. However, if getting a lot of touches is Gerhart’s main goal, the Niners have a pretty full backfield behind Frank Gore, so he might try and find himself a team that can offer a bigger role.
So where? The Arizona Caridnals haven’t had a solid running game in years, although Andre Ellington is showing some promise. Giving Gerhart a partner that he isn’t inferior to might bring out the best of him.
But if it’s a feature back that he’s after, then the Cleveland Browns, looking all over for a new running back they can give the ball to quite a lot considerign how bad their quarterback situation is, are the best option for him.
Gerhart averaged an incredible 7.9 yards per carry last season, carrying the ball 36 times for 283 yards.