Over the last couple days there has been quite a bit of discussion regarding the flexibility in the Saints situation at running back this off-season.
As of now they have a relatively solid stable of backs on their roster (Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles, Khiry Robinson), at least on paper. However, Thomas is widely regarded as a potential salary cap casualty, and Sproles will hit the dreaded 30-year-old mark this season (that often means vastly reduced productivity).
Robinson seems like the back with the most upside; you only needed to watch a few carries of his to see he runs with spark and power. Even Ingram looked rejuvenated in the playoffs, which could foreshadow a return to Heisman form in 2014.
Regardless of what happens, it’s very unlikely that the Saints will break open the piggy bank to shell out cash on this crop of free agent running backs. Although there is talent there, the higher-end backs either do not fit the Saints schematically or will certainly be asking for starter-money (which clearly New Orleans will be unable to offer).
Buck Stanton released his list of this year’s top 10 free agent running backs, of which there are only a few that could even fit with the Saints.
From both a fiscal and schmatic perspective ex-Raider Rashad Jennings would be the best fit. Jennings is a solid pass protector, a downhill runner, and a big-play threat in the passing game. If the money is right (and Thomas is gone) he would be the only free agent I believe the Saints would take a run at.
For the complete cover32 top 10 list for this year’s free agent running backs, click here
For more information on the Saints’ situation at running back, click here