The Miami Dolphins missed on a couple of running back targets this offseason. Whether it was restricted free-agent Cj Anderson of the Denver Broncos or the prospect Ezekiel Elliot who was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, the Dolphins missed out.
Despite indications that 2nd-year running back Jay Ajayi was ready to lead a young running back corps by taking the lead role, Miami still was interested in adding some veteran depth.
Recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in October and cut earlier this year by the Houston Texans, Arian Foster was on the Dolphins’ radar and today they signed the 29-year old running back to a one-year deal.
Foster’s deal with Miami is worth $1.5 million that includes incentives that could bring the total value of the deal to a max of $3.5 million, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Despite his 2015 season being mostly wiped out, Foster showed moments in 2014 that hinted he was in the prime of his career and had plenty left in the tank. In fact, many would say Foster’s performance level was they best of his career.
But as often the case with Foster, injuries have kept him sidelined and he spent most of this offseason getting healthy. Foster has spent his offseason working out at IX Innovations, which is owned by his brother, Abdul Foster, who said back in March of this year: “Arian’s doing great.”
Miami had shown interest in Foster earlier this offseason and he had a 2nd meeting scheduled with the Detroit Lions for later this week. Miami made sure Foster wouldn’t leave South Florida without a contract.
The addition of Foster allows Miami to lean less on Ajayi, which will help his development, and, more importantly, rely on a unproven and rather lackluster running back depth chart that includes Daniel Thomas and Isiah Pead.
It seems that Foster and Ajayi will split carries which, in theory, will limit the wear and tear on Foster and help keep him on the field and away from the sidelines. If healthy, Foster’s productivity could pay huge dividends to a Dolphins’ offense that is primed to showcase a renewed commitment to the running game.
Foster’s experience will also impact the running back room and help further unify a Miami offense. Foster also provides a valuable, proven and experienced offensive weapon for quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Should all the stars align for Foster (staying healthy, being productive) expect him to be included along fellow Dolphin Cameron Wake on the list of candidates for the NFL’s ‘Comeback Player of the Year’ award.