NFL Free Agency: King Henry Leads Free Agent RB Class

Prior to this season, Melvin Gordon was the main attraction for RBs available this offseason. Clearly, his time in LA is over with the recent re-signing of Austin Ekeler. So, we’re excluding Ekeler from this one. The biggest name out there is King Henry, fresh off his prolific playoff run with the Titans. We also have the No. 3 All-Time leading rusher at the age of 36, Frank Gore. Watching Gore show that he still has some juice left in his legs is exciting. Running the football is a key to winning football late in the season and the Titans, 49ers, and Ravens have proven that to be true. Like the QB free agent class, we also have some RBs that can contribute and help teams win now.

Lesean McCoy Getty Images
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – DECEMBER 01: (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Lesean McCoy has been an All-Pro twice and a Pro-Bowler 6 times. Even though he was inactive for the Super Bowl in order to boost the Chiefs defensive front, he’s still a SB champion, technically. He’s also rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season 6 times and he used to be deadly out of the backfield. I say “used to” because he’s 31 years old and that is the wrong side of 30 for RBs, unless your Frank Gore. Which we’ll get into later. Best Fits: Patriots, 49ers, Ravens

Damien Williams Getty Images
MIAMI, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 02: (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Damien Williams might be one of the most underrated RBs in the NFL and he was a big part of the Chiefs Super Bowl run. He’s a beast running the ball downhill and catching out of the backfield. Last year was his first as the starter, but he didn’t hit his stride until late in the season. A few injuries set him back early in the year which is why he had fresh legs in the playoffs. Best Fits: Packers, Panthers, Eagles, Seahawks

Kareem Hunt Getty Images
CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 8: . (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Did Kareem Hunt do enough for the Browns late in the season to earn a roster spot anywhere? He led the league in rushing as a rookie just 3 years ago. But a few poor choices derailed his promising career as one of the league’s brightest young stars. His latest run-in in with the law in Cleveland doesn’t help. The best thing going for Hunt is age, he’s only 24 years old. Best Fits: Texans, Cowboys, Colts

Lamar Miller Getty Images
HOUSTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 02:. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Lamar Miller is an interesting RB on the market. Not sure if he’s an every-down back but he’s definitely capable of producing. He’s a former Pro-Bowler and 2 x 1,000-yard runner. Miller came into the league as a Fullback so you know he won’t shy away from contact, a tough runner. The timing of his torn ACL couldn’t come at a worse time in his career being his free-agent year. At 28 years old he only has about 2 years to turn it around given the shelf-life for an RB is the 30-year old mark. Unless you are Frank Gore, Emmitt Smith, and Adrien Peterson. Best Fits: Chiefs, Cowboys, Raiders

Carlos Hyde- Getty Images
KANSAS CITY, MO – JANUARY 12: (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Carlos Hyde is on the market again let’s see if he can cash in. Still waiting to see him take that next step. You can say last year might have been that next step after hitting the 1K rushing yard mark for the first time in his career but what does he have as an encore? He helped lead the Texans into the playoffs and had a 1K season, not bad before hitting free agency. Best Fits: Falcons, Packers, Chargers

Frank Gore Getty Images
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 29: (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Frank Gore has moved into 3rd place on the All-Time rushing list behind only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer has 79 TDs in his career is still productive. In 2016, he ran for 1,000 yards, followed by 960, 700+, and last season he had 599 yards. You can see the decline but he can still be a valuable 2nd option at RB if he gets touches sparingly because he is 36 years old. Best Fits: Ravens, 49ers, Packers

Melvin Gordon Getty Images
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 22:(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Melvin Gordon and the Chargers are probably finished, especially with the recent signing of Austin Ekeler. If we break down the recent RBs to sign a big payday it hasn’t gone to plan. Todd Gurley, David Johnson, LeVeon Bell to name a few. Aside from Gurley, none of them have touched 1,000 yards since being paid. Buyer beware with Gordon he has only played a full season once in his career. Best Fits: Packers, Texans, Redskins

 

Derrick Henry Getty Images
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – JANUARY 11: (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Now, for the prize of the class, Derrick Henry. King Henry should cash in big-time after going on one of the best stretches for any RB in history. Henry has 28 TDs the past two seasons and 2 straight 1,000 yard seasons which included 1,540 last season. He had 5 games of 150+ rushing yards including 3 straight games over 180 yards late in the season. King Henry became the King because he got stronger as the season went on the stakes got higher. The biggest question mark would be his 300 touches last season and the abuse on his body. He’s a beast though so he should be able to hold up for a few years. Best Fits: Titans, Bills, Texans

Other Notable RBs: Kenyan Drake, Marhsawn Lynch, Jordan Howard, Matt Breida, Ameer Abdullah, Derek Watt, and Kyle Juszczyk

Up Next: Free Agent WRs and TEs

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s