The Miami Dolphins are working out Arian Foster today in Miami. It will be the second time this off-season that the two sides have met. Will this time be the right time for Miami?
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If there is one thing the Dolphins need at running back it’s experience. The Dolphins have little. The most experienced runner is Daniel Thomas. Yes the same Daniel Thomas and last year he was released by the Bears.
Isaiah Pead? Not much more actual on-field experience than Thomas. Jay Ajayi? One year as a back-up. Kenyan Drake has none at this level and Damien Williams has not shown that he can handle a more involved role with the team.
Naturally the addition of Foster would make sense. Signing him however, makes little sense.
The “little sense” that it does make is camp competition. Someone to really push against Pead and Damien Williams and even Daniel Thomas. Foster’s role starts and ends there and aside from that there isn’t any other reason to bring him on board.
Foster is no longer a viable running back in the NFL. He has missed 23 games in the last three seasons despite putting up 1,200 plus yards in 2014.
In 2014 Foster made his 4th Pro-Bowl but he played in only 13 games. In 2013 he played only 8 games and rushed for just over 500 yards. Last season he missed 12 games.
It’s hard to dismiss the production that Foster has had previously. He is a brand name but can he really help the Dolphins now? The Texans didn’t believe he could so he is a free agent. Thus far very few teams have taken a look at him.
Earlier this off-season Foster let it be known publicly that he wasn’t in shape and was still recovering from his injury but had hoped he would be able to run by training camps. That’s an injury waiting to happen again.
It’s difficult to view Foster as a depth option due to his health concerns and even in camp he could be a player that simply can’t contribute at or near 100%.
On the other hand, Foster should be cheap. Potentially veteran minimum cheap with no guarantees outside of making the roster. If a contract could be worked to protect the Dolphins then it would make sense to have another option in camp. Contract parameters would be an important factor in whether or not it’s worth signing him.
The Dolphins do need depth and they need a veteran in the back-field. Several teams including the Chiefs and Ravens have solid depth but will need to make roster cuts as they trim to 53 over the remaining summer.
That is when the Dolphins will have their best chance to land a viable veteran option at running back. And if they can’t, there is a very good likelihood that Foster would still be available.