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Need a running back? One free agent remains on the market, and according to reports, there is a growing interest in signing him around the league.
Former Patriots and Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has garnered interest from both the Vikings and Ravens, teams whose running back situations are in flux due to current legal issues, CBS Sports reports. But there are other teams around the NFL that could use Green-Ellis playing a key role in the backfield.
W/ BAL and MIN losing RBs for discipline and other teams to injury, several clubs reaching out to Green-Ellis. He’s still rehabbing injury..
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 17, 2014
Here are five potential landing spots:
1. Baltimore Ravens
Obviously the Ray Rice issue has taken the Ravens’ No. 1 running back out of the picture, leaving the oft-inconsistent Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro as the team’s only backfield options.
Pierce followed up his Week 1 start (6 rushes for 17 yards) with a 22-yard, 96-yard effort against the Steelers last Thursday. Forsett is a capable backup, and Taliaferro is probably the back for the future. But Green-Ellis might still have enough tread on his tires to give Baltimore a more downhill running game.
2. Minnesota Vikings
Without Adrian Peterson, Matt Asiata has been handed the reins of the Vikings backfield. In his first start last Sunday, Asiata proved to be a capable running back with mediocre speed but solid hands as a receiver out of the backfield. Rookie Jerick McKinnon is being hyped as a potential breakout candidate should he get more opportunities.
With Matt Cassel or Teddy Bridgewater under center, the Vikings’ offense will be predicated on the run game. Can they count on Matt Asiata? That remains to be seen. Green-Ellis offers a proven commodity.
3. Arizona Cardinals
Andre Ellington is already playing through a foot injury, and now Jonathan Dwyer will be out as he, too, deals with off-the-field trouble. Stepfan Taylor is the only other backup, and he has 37 career carries.
Green-Ellis is actually a solid option as a change-of-pace back to compliment Ellington, and doesn’t it seem like most veteran backs head west before they retire? Green-Ellis just feels like a Bruce Arians type of a guy.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
With Jamaal Charles out of the picture for the foreseeable future, Knile Davis is now getting the bulk of the carries in Kansas City. The Chiefs are actually pretty deep at the position, too, with rookie De’Anthony Thomas, Cyrus Gray and Joe McKnight rounding out the depth chart.
But Thomas is more of a Dexter McCluster sort of player, and Gray has 20 career carries. And no, don’t let me get into the ups and downs (mostly downs) of McKnight’s career.
Green-Ellis provides quality depth for the young Chiefs backfield until Charles is healthy and can stay on the field.
5. Chicago Bears
Matt Forte is entrenched as the Bears’ do-it-all No. 1 running back, but the depth behind the superstar is arguably the thinnest of any NFL team. Rookie Ka’Deem Carey has shown no signs of promise in the preseason and early in 2014, and Senorise Perry — you’ve never heard of him before today.
Green-Ellis is just a solid backup that Chicago can stick in behind Forte to spell him a few times per game and thrust into the mix when games are winding down. It’ll help Forte stay healthy, and provides the team with a veteran should injury strike.
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