With the writing all but on the wall for Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris, it appears that teams will soon have the chance to line up for the 27-year old’s services.
For the Lions, this could be an intriguing opportunity. As it stands right now, the running backs on their roster are Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, as well as George Winn, who is an exclusive rights free agent. While Abdullah is pegged as the “running back of the future,” he has only played one year in the league and struggled with fumbles in his rookie season. He finished with only 597 yards and two touchdowns. Zenner’s rookie season was cut short after six games due to a cracked rib and partiallly collapsed lung. Riddick, who is much more of a receiving threat out of the backfield, has 209 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in his three years in the league.
Should the Lions be interested in Morris? If the price is right, absolutely. The 2012 sixth-round draft pick rushed for at least 1,000 yards in Washington in each in first three seasons, actually rushing for 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns in his rookie season, and has not missed a single game in his four-year career. Last year’s mark of 751 yards and one touchdown is a testament to the Redskins splitting carries between him and rookie running back Matt Jones.
Morris made $1,542,000 in the final year of his contract, and will be due for a hefty raise in his next contract. The biggest question would be whether or not the Lions are ready to turn the reigns over to Abdullah and company despite the lack of experience. Also consider that Riddick would be the longest-tenured running back on the roster, with three years of experience.
Perhaps the Lions throw caution to the wind and let Abdullah take over as the featured back. Perhaps it works, too. But with so little experience on the roster at the position, it would seem to make sense for the team to be interested in a productive, established running back.
Is it likely that the team shells out the money it would take to bring in Morris? I would say probably not, but with general manager Bob Quinn‘s commitment to winning, this would be a big step in the right direction.