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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
2014 NFL Free Agency Preview: Running Backs
By Matt Horkman

LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots
A former 1,000-yard rusher with Tampa Bay, Blount is sure to draw interest on the market, especially after his monster performance (166 yards & four touchdowns) in the playoffs against Indianapolis. Miami’s new general manager Dennis Hickey worked in Tampa Bay when the Buccaneers signed Blount as an undrafted free agent. The Dolphins also have a need at running back, so they make for a logical landing spot. Tennessee is a possible sleeper, as they could be looking to move on from Chris Johnson. The Patriots want him back, though, but Blount may need to take less money to return. Whether or not he would is uncertain.

Possible Destinations: Browns, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots, & Titans

Andre Brown, N.Y. Giants
Because he ran behind an atrocious offensive line, Brown averaged a disappointing 3.5 yards per carry. Other than the Giants, it remains unclear as to how many teams would value him as a starter.

Possible Destinations: Giants & Raiders

Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts
When Brown was in the backfield instead of Trent Richardson, Indianapolis' offense functioned more efficiently. However, the Colts gave up a first-round pick for Richardson. They’re not likely to commit to Brown, leaving his options wide open.

Possible Destinations: Colts, Dolphins, & Giants

Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders
Jennings' best -- and most likely -- role is as a No. 2 behind an already established starter. Nonetheless, after he averaged 4.5 yards per carry on 163 attempts last season, it’s possible someone could target him as a starter.
Maurice Jones-Drew
Possible Destinations: 49ers, Falcons, Raiders, & Titans

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Turning 29 in March makes Jones-Drew a risky bet on the open market. At this point in his career, he may just want to sign with a contender, even if it means taking on a small role. A return to Jacksonville doesn’t seem plausible.

Possible Destination: 49ers, Broncos, Cardinals, & Patriots

Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
Injuries have prevented McFadden from reaching his true potential. He’ll only be 27, however, when the 2014 regular-season starts. Somebody will take a chance on him, as a result. Reports leading into the 2008 draft had Dallas owner Jerry Jones coveting McFadden. The Cowboys don’t have lot of cap space, so they’d likely have to clear room. A reunion in Cincinnati with former Oakland head coach Hue Jackson is also viable.

Possible Destination: Bengals, Cowboys, Dolphins, Giants, & Raiders

Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals
Despite being in the league since 2008, Mendenhall will only be 27 by the time the 2014 regular-season starts. He has had one strong season (2009), with the rest being mostly underwhelming. His career average of 4.1 yards per carry suggests he’s not starting material.

Possible Destinations: Broncos, Cardinals, Falcons, & Raiders

Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
The Broncos invested a second-round pick in Montee Ball last off-season. Ball displayed good progress as the year went on, so Moreno returning to Denver doesn‘t seem likely. Any team that spreads the field with three and four-wide sets will covet Moreno’s skills.

Possible Destination: Dolphins, Falcons, & Giants

James Starks, Green Bay Packers
A strong season backing up rookie Eddie Lacy will make Starks an enticing option for several teams. He doesn’t have a lot of wear on his tires (322 career carriers), but he’s been prone to injury through most of his career. The Packers will try to bring him back, but Miami and New York are excellent fits.

Possible Destinations: Dolphins, Giants, Packers, & Raiders

Ben Tate, Houston Texans
This off-season’s prize free-agent running back, Tate has spent his three-year career living in Arian Foster’s shadow. That’ll no longer be the case, as he’s all but assured to leave Houston this off-season. The Browns, Dolphins, Giants, Jaguars, and Raiders are all desperate for a running back. Tate would be a fine fit with any of them.

Possible Destinations: Browns, Dolphins, Giants, Jaguars, & Raiders

Best of the Rest
Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts
Anthony Dixon, San Francisco 49ers
Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh Steelers
Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Vikings
Peyton Hillis, N.Y. Giants

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