With dozens of running backs set to hit free agency (unless they are hit with the franchise tag), we narrowed it down to the top 10 available with our predictions on their destination. Read our predictions below.
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants
The Giants will have to make a decision whether to franchise Daniel Jones or Saquon Barkley after both turned in dynamic seasons. Even though there has been speculation that Jones will command top dollar after hiring a new agent, it’s more likely that he will find the market won’t be so kind to him and settle on a three to four year deal with the G-Men. That should enable the Giants to slap the franchise tag on Barkley. Saquon won’t like it, but considering his injury history, it’s the best option for the team.
Josh Jacobs – Chicago Bears
There is reason to believe the Las Vegas Raiders will strap the franchise tag on Jacobs after turning in his best season to date. However, since Vegas remains in the market for a QB and is coached by Josh McDaniels who comes from the Bill Belichick school of thought and not spending a lump sum on a running back, there is also a good chance the Raiders allow Jacobs to walk. In turn, expect the Bears to emerge as one of Jacobs’ top suitors. With an offense centered on the run game behind Justin Fields, Chicago will be looking for an upgrade over David Montegomery. Jacobs could fill that void.
Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys
All indications point to the Cowboys finally releasing Ezekiel Elliott, paving the way for Pollard to take over as full-time starter in the backfield. Pollard, while consistent as Elliott’s backup through the years, had quite a breakout season for the Cowboys. Many argue that if the young RB had not been injured in the NFC Divisional Round against the 49ers that Dallas would have, indeed, won the contest. With Dak Prescott undergoing turnover issues, the Cowboys will have to rely on their run game more than ever. Pollard is due for a pay day.
Miles Sanders – Denver Broncos
The Pennsylvania native is likely leaving the Eagles and you can expect there to be mutual interest between the Broncos and Sanders. Denver will be in the market for a reliable and consistent starter, especially after Javonte Williams suffered a season-ending injury early in the year and the disgruntled Melvin Gordon was later released. Sanders, whose pass-catching volume has decreased in every season since his rookie year, would partner well with the young Williams. New head coach Sean Payton is known for utilizing his backfield and will look to employ more than one lead back. Sanders would fit well in this offense.
Kareem Hunt – Buffalo Bills
After backing up Nick Chubb the past few seasons, Hunt would make perfect sense for a Bills team that is most likely willing to let Devin Singletary walk this offseason. Adding a veteran presence to the backfield to split time with James Cook would give the Bills a dangerous threat at 3rd-and-short as well as in the passing game.
Jamaal Williams – Miami Dolphins
Detroit remains the favorite to retain Williams after a spectacular season, but Miami could make a serious play as well. Ever since Tua Tagovailoa has dealt with multiple concussions, the Miami run game has been called upon as paramount to its success. Williams would be an upgrade over Raheem Mostert. After years backing up Aaron Jones in Green Bay and D’Andre Swift in Detroit, Williams is ready for a full-time position.
Raheem Mostert – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles will be in the market for a cheaper option other than Miles Sanders to pair with Kenneth Gainwell next season. Mostert performed well as lead back for the Miami Dolphins and would pair well sharing the backfield with Gainwell. Jalen Hurts is due for a big pay day, so Philly will have to cut costs where needed.
D’Onta Foreman – Carolina Panthers
After dealing Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers, Foreman emerged as a reliable option in the backfield. Between the QB carousel that saw Baker Mayfield, PJ Walker, and eventually Sam Darnold, Foreman was one of the bright and consistent spots in the lineup. With pressing matters elsewhere which include drafting a franchise QB and building a solid offensive line, expect the Panthers to bring back Foreman in a multi-year deal.
Devin Singletary – Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals were one of the worst running teams last season. James Conner was limited to 13 contests due to injury and eclipsed 100+ rushing yards in only one game. With Kyler Murray’s status up in the air to start the season, the Cardinals will look to add some depth and production to their running tandem. Devin Singletary should fit right in and would do well complementing Conner.
David Montgomery – Las Vegas Raiders
If the Raiders allow Jacobs to walk, Montgomery could be in line to replace him in the backfield. The No. 1 priority for the Raiders this offseason remains finding an upgrade at QB over Derek Carr. If that’s the case, there is a good chance they will miss out on re-signing Jacobs. While they can still place the franchise tag on them, Jacobs has publicly stated he does not wish to play under the tag. Though he may not hold out, there will be a market for him elsewhere and that could allow the Raiders to save cap space for a QB. Montgomery fits here as a backup plan.