Why Broncos, Patriots should sign Arian Foster

PFF analyst Mike Renner identifies the top destinations for recently-released running back Arian Foster.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Why Broncos, Patriots should sign Arian Foster

The writing was on the wall for Arian Foster in Houston. At 29 years old and coming off a torn Achilles—with a $9 million cap hit looming—Foster was a fairly obvious candidate for a cap casualty. That doesn’t mean that the one-time rushing champ is finished, however. He was his usually productive self in 2015, even adding an element in the passing game that we hadn’t seen from him since 2011.

If Foster does lose a step after the injury, it won’t be the same as someone like Chris Johnson losing a step. Foster was never one to rely on his speed, instead using his impeccable vision and patience, especially on outside zone runs, to find creases. With that being said, let’s take a look at a handful of places that Foster could end up next fall.

Denver Broncos

Reuniting with Gary Kubiak, who coached Foster during his highest-graded seasons in Houston, almost makes too much sense—and therefore probably won’t happen. But Foster could easily be the third-down back that C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman have failed to develop into, while also taking spot carries here and there. Foster knows the scheme backwards and forwards and would be able to be plugged right into the lineup on Day 1.

New England Patriots

The kings of taking cheap veterans with one or two years of usefulness left, this one also makes too much sense. While New England doesn’t necessarily utilize a “feature” back, they could use an infusion of talent, with James White currently the only true every-down guy on the roster. The Patriots’ scheme is very multiple, and not necessarily a perfect fit, but New England has a way of seamlessly transitioning veterans into their building.

Washington Redskins

Washington is a far less obvious choice than the other two teams, but the scheme fit and need makes it a possibility. The Redskins ran outside zone as much as anyone in league last year, and they frequently had issues with the vision of rookie Matt Jones in that scheme, as he graded very negatively. With Alfred Morris an impending free agent, Washington may see Foster as an upgrade (Foster has graded out higher over his career), and someone that could mentor their young running back.

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Grayson Martin

    You mean Matt Jones, not Matt Johnson.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Foster would be an even worse pick up than DeMarco Murray was last season. There is no demand for ‘patient’ running backs.

    • James Winslow

      He would be dirt cheap though.

  • Zachary Mills

    I think the Patriots should bring him in as well. He’s bound to be cheap, low risk moderate reward potential. He won’t be the dominant player he used to be, but he could do well sharing snaps with White, Lewis, potentially Blount and hopefully a few draft picks.