Arian Foster is low risk-high reward


The Dolphins have taken steps to shore up their backfield by adding veteran running back Arian Foster. When Foster has been healthy he is one of the most productive backs out there.

When looking at the Miami Dolphins approach to their backfield you can’t help but be impressed with their approach. The Dolphins went into this offseason with Lamar Miller as an unrestricted free agent but when his price tag was too high to match they started looking elsewhere. They had talks with CJ Anderson from Denver and even had him on an offer sheet, but Denver matched the offer and the Dolphins were out another veteran back. They brought in other veteran backs for workouts but they all either signed with someone else or stayed free agents due to their price tag.

Arian Foster was one of those backs that the Dolphins brought in for a workout but never made any move to sign. A very productive back when he was healthy, Foster was looking for a big contract that Miami wasn’t prepared to offer. Foster has dealt with injuries the last few seasons and the Dolphins weren’t going to pay big for a player that might never make it on the field. So  Miami decided to put their faith in a young backfield and add in the draft.

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The Dolphins drafted Kenyan Drake and went into mini camp with Jay Ajayi as the leader for the starting position. After an unimpressive mini-camp from Ajayi and with Drake leaving early with a hamstring injury, the Dolphins decided they would again look at veteran options to round out their backfield. This time the market had cooled down so Foster was willing to accept a very low (prove it) contract. Miami now has a proven running back who can be a game changer when he is healthy and all at a huge discount.

This is a low risk, high reward scenario for the Dolphins. If Foster can remain healthy and returns to his pro bowl form Miami will benefit from a strong running game and have very little cap hit from it. If Foster should get injured then Miami can roll with their young backs and see what they have there. No matter what, Ajayi and Drake will benefit from having Foster on the roster. Not only does he provide legitimate competition, but he can also teach them what it takes to be a pro bowl player.

Foster is a cheap insurance policy for Miami heading into training camp. He should not and will not just be handed the starting job, but he will have the opportunity to compete for it. The best possible scenario would be for Ajayi or Drake to step up and win the starting job and then have Foster as a great change of pace or back up in case one of them gets injured. But even if they don’t and Foster wins it, Miami now has the veteran leader in the backfield that fans have been screaming for.

Training camp will be interesting to watch as these three battle it out for the starting job. I would love to see Foster return to his old form but still be beaten out by Ajayi or Drake. That would mean that the scouting department has done it’s job in selecting great talent. It would meant that Miami’s running backs would be a threat. It would mean that the Dolphins might have a chance at a functioning offense this season.

Any way you look at it, Arian Foster is a welcomed addition to the Miami Dolphins roster. At such a low cost, even if he busts Miami risked very little at adding him. This was a great move by the Dolphin’s front office and a smart move on waiting for the price reduction. Now we just wait to see.