2009 Free Agent Running Backs

Backup ground gainers headline the 2009 free agent class at running back.

While the Dallas Cowboys appear to be set at running back for the 2009 season and beyond with Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, there remain a handful of backs set to enter free agency worth watching.

And while the running back position is light on projected starters, teams looking for backs who fit in a No.2 role will find plenty of them.

Potential Starters:
Brandon Jacobs (New York Giants – UFA) - The mammoth back has surprisingly good feet and he'll run anyone over in his path. Jacobs has already proven he's capable of being a starting back but past injuries are a concern. Some around the league believe he needs to be in a two-back system and he fits best in a power running game.

Derrick Ward (New York Giants- UFA) - The former seventh-round pick of the New York Jets has been outstanding the last two years in his role as the backup for Brandon Jacobs. Ward is a big back who runs well and he also has surprising versatility. He does a good job of running inside and gets to the second level well, but the one negative is that he turns 29 in August so he's probably looking at a short-term deal.

Potential Backups:
Rudi Johnson (Detroit Lions - UFA) - The former starter for the Cincinnati Bengals is working on a one-year deal. Teams really see him as a No. 2 back at this point of his career and he fits with a team that uses a power running game.

LaMont Jordan (New England Patriots - UFA) - At this point in his career, Jordan could handle a No. 2 role. He can play in a variety of systems because of his ability to catch the ball.

Maurice Morris (Seattle Seahawks - UFA) - He won the starting job over Julius Jones coming out of the preseason but Morris suffered a sprained knee shortly after the regular season starter. Morris has good versatility and fits in as a No. 2 back in a West Coast system.

DeShaun Foster (San Francisco 49ers - UFA) - Foster offers decent versatility for a team that likes to throw the football.

Correll Buckhalter (Philadelphia Eagles - UFA) - He's been pretty healthy for almost two seasons and Buckhalter has shown that he can be an excellent No. 2 back. He has surprising versatility as well.

Michael Pittman (Denver Broncos - UFA) - Pittman has shown this season that he still has something left in the tank. He is capable of handling a No. 2 role as well as handling a third-down role.

Dominic Rhodes (Indianapolis Colts - UFA) - He's been able to revive his career this season after a poor stint with the Oakland Raiders last year.

Darren Sproles (San Diego Chargers - UFA) - He's a bit small but Sproles is an excellent kickoff returner and he's capable of handling a change of pace role.

Jason Wright (Cleveland Browns - UFA) - He fits in best with a team that runs a power rushing scheme.

J.J. Arrington (Arizona Cardinals - UFA) - The former second-round pick can handle kickoff returns and fits in as a third back.

Aaron Stecker (New Orleans Saints - UFA) - The veteran back fits in as a second or third back and his versatility offers teams a role in passing situations.

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