clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Running backs who could be cut or traded this offseason

The NFL Draft added 255 picks and a host of undrafted free agents to rosters. We break down what it might mean for veteran running backs on the roster bubble.

Marlon Mack of the Indianapolis Colts scores a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field on December 29, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft welcomed 255 players to the league, along with a host of undrafted free agents. This will shake up depth charts, and we will soon see teams start to release players to let them look for new accommodations in the NFL. We’ve compiled some players that might be in need of a new team due to draft picks likely crowding them out of playing time and possibly a roster spot. Below we’ll take a look at running backs. Inspiration comes in part from Bill Barnwell’s look at one player on each team most likely to be cut or traded.

Marlon Mack, Colts

Marlon Mack could stay with the Colts, but he’ll be behind newly drafted Jonathan Taylor, who has three-down capability — whereas Mack is a two-down back. Mack would be a good backup but he does have value as a lead back if the opportunity arises and the Colts would likely be eager to get something for him in a trade.

Darrel Williams, Chiefs

With LeSean McCoy out of town, Williams or Darwin Thompson were in line to see more work behind Damien Williams, but that is out the window now. Unfortunately for both, the Chiefs picked Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the last pick of the first round. Edwards-Helaire will at the very least share time with Damien Williams while the Chiefs will need to move on from a running back. Kansas City also signed former Raiders running back DeAndre Washington to a one-year deal in free agency, giving them three backs they are committed to and likely pushing Darrel Williams out, as Thompson has more draft capital and is still on his rookie contract while Williams was signed off the street. Williams showed enough when healthy last season to find a job elsewhere, but likely doesn’t have any fantasy value unless he gets very lucky this season.

John Kelly, Rams

The Rams let Todd Gurley go this offseason due to his balky knee and to save some cash. That pushed Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown and John Kelly to the front of the running back list until they drafted Cam Akers in the second round. Kelly isn’t a player we are going to see pop up on the fantasy radar later on unless we see a rash of running back injuries.

Gus Edwards, Ravens

Baltimore probably doesn’t want to let Edwards go, but he likely won’t be needed on game day after the Ravens picked J.K. Dobbins in the second round. Edwards is a two-down back while Robbins has receiving chops and will quickly become the backup to Mark Ingram while Justice Hill, who also has a better all-around game, has more value for the team. Edwards should stick with the team for a while, but if they can get something for him in a trade, they’ll go for it.

Jamaal Williams, Packers

Williams has proven to be a trustworthy but not spectacular player in the NFL so far. He has been Aaron Jones’ backup and sometimes committee member the last two seasons but the addition of AJ Dillon in the draft hurts his chances to stick with the team. Matt LeFleur does want three backs ready to play, but Williams just hasn’t given much offense to the team so far and will likely need to be a big factor on special teams to keep his job.

Wayne Gallman, Giants

The Giants didn’t draft a running back but did pick up Dion Lewis in free agency to take over Gallman’s backup job. Gallman has been serviceable but also has had trouble with fumbling, which is likely enough for the Giants to move on from him now that he isn’t needed.

Adrian Peterson, Washington

Washington has a large supply of running backs and the oldest of the group is the most likely to be sent out to pasture. With Derrius Guice, Peyton Barber, Bryce Love and now do-everything running back/wide receiver Antonio Gibson on the roster, Adrian Peterson is the most-likely to go. He can still play but he’s no longer the upside player he once was and for a team who knows they aren’t making the playoffs this season, they might as well see what they have in their younger backs.