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NFL Free Agent Rankings: Running Backs
By Matt Horkman

1. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
Re-signing Murray is a big priority for the Cowboys, who also need to workout a long-term extension with receiver Dez Bryant. Murray’s heavy 2014 workload (449 touches) could scare a few teams off, but odds are someone will pony up for his services. The Colts and Falcons are two teams to watch. Buffalo could make a move, as well.

Possible Destinations: Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, Indianapolis, & Jacksonville

2. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
San Diego’s offense improves significantly with a running game behind quarterback Philip Rivers. In 2012, Mathews ran for 1,255 yards in 16 games, helping the Chargers reach the postseason. That was the only season in which he played all 16 games. He has missed 20 throughout his five-year career, including 10 last season. Teams -- including the Chargers -- are going to be skeptical of paying an injury-prone running back a lot of money.

Possible Destination: Baltimore, Buffalo, Indianapolis, N.Y. Giants, & San Diego

3. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
Durability also hurts Ingram’s value on the open market. Having missed 14 games in his four-year career, he’s played a 16-game schedule just once. He played well last year, though, scoring nine touchdowns and averaging 74 yards per game.

Possible Destination: Arizona, Buffalo, Detroit, N.Y. Giants, & New Orleans

4. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
The Bills misused Spiller under Doug Marrone, often times asking him to run between the tackles. Spiller could shine in the right system. He’s a dual-threat running back, capable of exploiting teams on the edges. New Bills coach Rex Ryan wants him in Buffalo, but Chan Gailey -- who drafted Spiller in Buffalo -- is now the offensive coordinator for the N.Y. Jets. It’s not hard to connect the dots.

Possible Destinations: Buffalo, Detroit, & N.Y. Jets

5. Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens
Despite having the best season of his career in 2014, Forsett’s age (29) will work against him in free agency. Not many teams are looking to sign a running back pushing 30 to a long-term contract. Teams will have to weigh his age against his production. One report has the Falcons showing interest. Stevan Ridley

Possible Destinations: Atlanta & Baltimore

6. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
Ridley has shown the ability to be a true workhorse back, but fumbles kept him in Bill Belichick’s doghouse. He won’t be back with the Patriots, as LeGarrette Blount is firmly entrenched in the team’s first and second-down role. Ridley could be a bargain for teams looking to find value after the initial spending spree calms.

Possible Destinations: Arizona, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Oakland, & San Diego

7. Roy Helu, Washington
Stuck behind Alfred Morris in Washington, free agency gives Helu a chance to land a larger role elsewhere. He is a good receiver out the backfield, catching 42 passes for 477 yards last season. He has also averaged 4.9 yards per carry over the last two seasons.

Possible Destination: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, New England, & N.Y. Giants

8. Shane Vereen, New England Patriots
An excellent fit in New England, Vereen isn’t much of a threat as a runner but his receiving skills are top notch. Reportedly, he’s looking for an annual salary of $5 million. He won’t get that unless his agent knows mind-control. Look for the Patriots to show interest in re-signing him when his price tag drops. A tweet from Vereen suggest that might already be happening.

Possible Destinations: Detroit, New England, & N.Y. Jets

9. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers want to move on with Carlos Hyde as their top back, so Gore will have to settle for being a backup if he returns to San Francisco. Frankly, I can’t imagine any team going into training camp with a 32-year-old as their starting running back. He's locked in as a backup.

Possible Destination: Arizona, Buffalo, Indianapolis, & San Francisco

10. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
After three straight quality seasons, Bush was unproductive and often injured in 2014. He finished with just 297 yards in 11 games, his worst performance since an injury-riddled 2010.

Possible Destination: Baltimore, Indianapolis, & N.Y. Giants

Best of the Rest
Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts
Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
Knowshon Moreno, Miami Dolphins
Bilal Powell, N.Y. Jets
Ben Tate, Cleveland Browns

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