Detroit Lions: 4 free agent running backs worth considering
Team: Miami Dolphins
2020 Stats: 12 games played, 59 rushing attempts, 254 yards, 9 receptions, 0 total touchdowns
2020 Base Salary: $3,259,000
The smallest back on this list, Breida is the type of player that is easy to root for considering the difficult circumstances he had to endure growing up. His adoptive parents struggled with health problems and the after-effects of car accidents during his childhood and his perseverance and drive during his time in the NFL has been impressive.
Another undrafted free agent, Brieda latched on with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 and was part of their running back platoon for three years before being traded to the Miami Dolphins before last season. Between 2018 and 2019 with the 49ers, he totaled over 1,400 yards on the ground on better than 5.0 yards per tote as well as over 400 receiving yards.
With the Dolphins, Breida appeared in just 12 games last year and managed a career-low 59 carries; he also did not reach the end zone once. Part of the issue was a shaky offensive line with mismatched parts and inconsistent game plans with different quarterbacks. Regardless, he isn’t necessarily entering free agency on a high note.
It’s hard to envision Breida surpassing his salary number from 2020, and he may have to settle on a short-term contract or wait for higher profile backs to find new homes first. He won’t instantly transform any team’s running game but he’ll offer solid depth wherever he lands.
Should he find his way onto the Lions’ roster, it could signal that the team is primarily looking for shiftier, more versatile players at the position, or that perhaps they have moved on from Johnson. Not a seamless fit, but he’s worth keeping tabs on.