The Miami Dolphins find themselves in desperate straits when it comes to the running back position.
After electing not to make a strong push to re-sign last year’s starter Lamar Miller during the early stages of free agency, Miami signed then restricted free agent C.J. Anderson to an offer sheet.
Miami structured the offer sheet in a manner it believed the Denver Broncos wouldn’t be able to match. Unfortunately for the powers to be in South Beach, John Elway and Co. didn’t take the bait. Instead, they matched the offer sheet, retaining Anderson in the process.
Now left pursuing the likes of Chris Johnson on a watered-down free-agent market, the Dolphins are in desperate need of adding a true starter to an offense that will only succeed with a strong running game.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins’ plans at running back include targeting a veteran in a trade:
“The Miami Dolphins are exploring every option as they try to fill out their depleted running backs crops and that includes the possibility of getting a player via trade,” Salguero reported. “The Dolphins have had conversations with multiple teams about trading for a back, a league source said from the NFL annual meeting Wednesday.”
It’s not really known what teams might actually have running backs on the trade block.
The Kansas City Chiefs might be open to moving Knile Davis after he lost his primary backup role to Charcandrick West last season. With Spencer Ware also impressive in Jamaal Charles’ absence, that could be a route for Miami.
Pure conjecture here, but the Green Bay Packers might be inclined to move Eddie Lacy after the running back proved himself to be out of shape during a disappointing 2015 campaign.
Outside of that, there really isn’t much to look at here. Teams simply aren’t going to move talented running backs because the Dolphins find themselves backed into a corner.
Adding even another layer to this situation, Miami traded down from the eighth spot in next month’s draft to 13th overall while acquiring Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in March.
This likely takes the team out of the market for consensus top running back prospect Ezekiel Elliott.
Either way we spin it, Miami simply needed to find an upgrade at running back. As of right now, 2015 fifth-round pick Jay Ajayi would be the team’s primary ball carrier next season. While talented, the Boise State product fell to the lower rounds due to serious concerns over his knee.