Sage Rosenfels (Houston) - Career backup with limited opportunities displayed some flashes of quality play while with the Dolphins in 2005. Rosenfels is a strong-armed quarterback that needs to play to gain experience and consistency. Being stuck in the quarterback quandary of Miami, signing with the Texans could be a blessing. Rosenfels signing all but ends any hope that free agent quarterback Tony Banks returns to the team.
Chris Weinke (Carolina) - Weinke's professional career has been marred by bad decisions when given the opportunity to shine. Sporting good size and arm strength, Weinke has been erratic, inconsistent, and does not move well in the pocket. Familiar with the Carolina offensive system and this is a good match for depth purposes.
Tim Hasselbeck (NY Giants) – Despite lacking ideal size and arm strength, Hasselbeck has displayed the ability to lead a team on a limited basis. Showing the tendency in brief appearances to throw the ball into coverage too often, Hasselbeck can be prone to interceptions. Has not had a legitimate opportunity to gain playing time and experience and will not in New York, backing-up Eli Manning.
Mike Anderson (Baltimore) – The Ravens were in need of a veteran running back and wasted no time in landing a better than average talent, Mike Anderson. Not the fleetest afoot, Anderson has proven to be a powerful inside, downhill type rusher, which could be a fit within the Baltimore offense, which is expected to take on a different look in the 2006 season. Basically a between the tackles runner, Anderson will be counted upon to carry the load for the Ravens until the team adds depth to the position. Anderson should keep the running game alive for Baltimore, but expect the Ravens to add another back in free agency or early in the draft.
Edgerrin James (Arizona) - Arizona claimed they would not be a player in the high-stakes, high-salary free agency wars. Well, guess again, landing the multi-talented James. In James, the Cardinals now have a running back which will compliment an already exciting passing game. James can run between the tackles, off tackle, and is a superb receiver coming out of the backfield. For the Cardinals, it is Christmas Day! Questions surrounding the overall state of the Arizona offensive line now must be evaluated, as James is a talent, but needs help up-front to be successful.
Ron Dayne (Denver) - May have found himself in the rushing-machine known as the Denver Broncos offense. Some of his on-field success, though limited may come from a diligent off-season workout program which he entered and the blocking emphasis of the Denver scheme. Dayne displayed much better burst and vision in the 2005 season, while maintaining a powerful lower base. The Broncos appear committed to Dayne in some capacity, whether as a starter or backup. At this time, Dayne has the eye of the Broncos' organization and the belief is he could be the starter, if his dedication continues.
Chester Taylor (Minnesota) - Versatile back which has been the jack-of-all trades while a member of the Baltimore Ravens. Has not been a feature back at the professional level, but will get the opportunity with the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota head coach Brad Childress envisions the opportunity to focus on Taylor in the running game, much the Eagles (Childress' former team) does with Brian Westbrook, with Taylor being a better between the tackles rusher. In the West Coast offense, Taylor could blossom into one of the more productive backs in the league.
DeShaun Foster (Carolina) - The Panthers are in a precarious position at running back. Foster is everything the team wants in a back, but questions remaining regarding injury issues kept this deal from getting done sooner. Despite the issues, the Panthers are thin at the position and are hopeful Foster can be their workhorse back in the future.
Mike Alstott (Tampa Bay) - Due to his versatility and experience, Alstott appears poised to play one more season in Tampa Bay. Alstott fits nicely in the Tampa Bay offensive scheme and his leadership qualities were hard for the team to pass on (as well as a modest salary).
Jameel Cook (Houston) - Cook is an improving blocking back. Lacks the speed and quickness to carry the load for a team, but can be an asset coming out of the backfield on occasion, as well as on special teams.
Chad Morton (NY Giants) – Morton excels in the return game and has been steady in that role for the Giants. Due to his limited ability to be an asset in the running game due to his size, Morton can be of help coming out of the backfield, if called upon. Morton provides the team a viable weapon in the return game and should continue to succeed in this role.