There haven’t been any atrocious deals given out to running backs this off-season, but I have a feeling a lot of teams around the league who signed running backs this off-season are kicking themselves now that they see that the Texans got Andre Brown for the veteran’s minimum. Andre Brown has his share of issues. He’s bounced around the league and has a massive injury history so he’s played 21 games since being drafted in the 4th round in 2009 and has 246 touches going into his age 28 season. He also averaged just 3.5 yards per carry last season and has a career average of 4.1 yards per carry.
That being said, he’s strong on passing downs as both a protector and a pass catcher and he’s a bruising north-south back who always picks up some sort of yardage and who is great around the goal line. He doesn’t have much explosiveness, but he averaged 5.5 yards per carry in 2012. He doesn’t have that many more issues than running backs who signed multi-year deals worth multi-million dollars this off-season.
Donald Brown, Ben Tate, and Rashad Jennings have never been successful starting running backs. Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew have had their explosiveness sapped by injury over the past few seasons. Knowshon Moreno has the most recent productive season of the bunch, but that was largely due to the presence of the Broncos’ offensive supporting cast. Andre Brown will serve very well as a needed backup for Arian Foster, who is coming off of a major injury, and at a very reasonable rate.