Predicting Where Arian Foster Will Play in 2016
The Arian Foster rumors continue to heat up, as the former Houston Texans star running back rehabs his torn Achilles and looks for his next NFL gig.
Out of Work
The Texans didn’t deem Foster worth it at the end of last season, as they cut their losses with the oft-injured 29-year old rusher. That left Foster in full-blown recovery mode and without a job.
He’s been determined to make a successful comeback, however, and reports have at least two know teams interested.
South Beach Bound?
Per reports, the Miami Dolphins have remained the loudest about their courtship of Foster, with rumors stemming from right after the season to as recently as this past weekend.
It’s been nine months since Foster ruptured his Achilles tendon, yet he’s scheduled to work out for Miami and reports suggest they could be “seriously considering” extending an offer for the upcoming 2016 NFL season.
Miami looks like a great fit on paper, as they lost Lamar Miller to free agency and only have Jay Ajayi and rookie back Kenyan Drake slated to pick up the slack. There wouldn’t be a guarantee that Foster would take over as an every down option like he was in Houston (especially with such a serious injury) but the chance to compete for a big role would understandably be there.
For the Dolphins, Foster would at the very worst give them an experienced, able-bodied presence behind Ryan Tannehill – one that can carry a big load, has a nose for the end-zone and can catch the ball out of the backfield with the best backs in the league.
Foster naturally would carry massive injury risk and may not be the same player he was even a year ago, but it’s a risk the Dolphins may want to take after losing Miller and whiffing on the likes of C.J. Anderson in free agency.
Lions Also Interested
In addition to working out for the Dolphins, Foster is scheduled to get a serious look from the Detroit Lions, per Adam Schefter.
Former Texans RB Arian Foster is scheduled to work out for Dolphins on Monday and Lions later this week, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 18, 2016
The Lions have some talent to lean on – more so than Miami – but they still have unanswered questions in their offensive backfield. Ameer Abdullah, Zach Zenner, Stevan Ridley and Theo Riddick are all fine talents in their own right, but all have big question marks and are arguably best suited filling niche roles.
Ridley may be washed up at this point, but his value comes in short yardage situations and he lacks catching ability. Abdullah still has the makings of a feature back, but struggled immensely as a rookie. Zenner isn’t as talented as Abdullah, but he’s the better north/south runner and was quite impressive before puncturing his lung early last year.
There isn’t any real concern with Riddick, other than the fact that he’s purely as pass-catcher and isn’t suited to run the ball.
Foster’s role could be to supplant Ridley and rotate with Abdullah and Zenner. Of Detroit and Miami, though, it’s easy to see how Foster would appreciate one over the other in terms of upside and role. That being said, the Lions are just one of two known teams to be seriously interested in Foster thus far, so they have to be taken seriously at this point.
Miami looks like a good spot, while the Lions really don’t make all that much sense for either side.
Those are just two of 31 teams that could be interested (not including Houston), so the door remains wide open to a number of running back-starved teams to give Foster a call.
So, who else could be in the mix?
We’re working off of pure speculation here, but the first team that comes to mind is the New England Patriots. The Pats have been getting by with mediocre talent in their backfield for years, and it may be time for a massive upgrade. Bill Belichick and co. are also notorious for bringing in aged and forgotten talents and getting the most out of them before their careers come to a close.
In the name of Randy Moss and Corey Dillon, this could be a majestic fit.
New England has LeGarrette Blount, a recovering Dion Lewis (torn ACL) and a slew of spare parts. A healthy Foster would give their offense a huge boost and could also solve their woes for when Tom Brady sits out the first four games of the year.
The Patriots aren’t the only team that could stand to upgrade their rushing attack, though. We can’t rule out AFC South division rivals like the Colts here, as Indianapolis really only has an aging Frank Gore to hang its hat on. Foster probably wouldn’t mind a little revenge on Houston twice a year, either.
Outside of Foster’s old division there are still plenty of options, too, with teams like the Chargers, Giants, Eagles, Bears and Seahawks having moderate to serious need for help at the position.
Where Will Foster Play?
At 29 and coming off a bad injury, Foster is probably worried about two things: getting paid and proving he can still ball.
For the former, he probably needs to prove the latter. However, if he’s impressive enough during his workouts, his value should see a significant bump and he could find himself in the middle of a bidding war.
On paper, Foster is still a feature back with the ability to change games as a runner and receiver. Because of that, he could get a nice one or two-year deal with the right team. If it’s up to him, that team would be supplying him with a nice financial situation, a quality role and a chance to win.
That likely puts the Patriots, Seahawks and maybe the Colts in the mix at a high level, with the only two known interested teams – Detroit and Miami – as the other two options.
The Miami Dolphins look like the best Arian Foster prediction to roll with at the moment. This will mark the second meeting between the two sides, and while New England, Indianapolis and Seattle all present sexier story-lines, they’ve yet to proclaim any interest. Until that does happen, the Dolphins look like the best bet to land Foster for 2016.
Think someone else signs Arian Foster this season? Think he’s done? Let us know in the comments below!
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