By Eric Schmidt

As the dust settles in the aftermath of the 2013 NFL Draft, one thing is evident. If you are a veteran free agent running back, you are going to have a difficult job finding work for the 2013 season Cedric Benson and Ahmad Bradshaw among them. Prior to the NFL Draft, Bradshaw had a reported meeting with the Steelers while there was pre-draft rumor that Benson had met with the Green Bay Packers regarding a possible return next season.

Now in the post-draft NFL world, neither team has a need for running backs approaching the age of 30. The Packers drafted two running backs, Eddie Lacy along with UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin. The Steelers drafted Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell.

Along with Benson and Bradshaw, another veteran could still hit the streets. The Denver Broncos drafted RB Monte Ball and Willis McGahee, soon to be 32, could find himself out of a job or altleast forced to take a pay cut from his $2.5 million dollar salary. At least Benson and Bradshaw have drawn some interest, former Atlanta Falcons back Michael Turner hasn’t received a sniff in free agency.

It has become the cold hard reality of the NFL that once a running back approaches the age of 30, he can be and usually is replaced.

Another factor in the mix is that there simply aren’t that many teams in need of a running back right now. Yahoo!Sports is reporting this morning that the San Diego Chargers approached 32-year old LaDainian Tomlinson about a return to the Chargers and he declined. Ryan Mathews has been a major disappointment and San Diego inked a deal with Danny Woodhead in the offseason. Perhaps Bradshaw, if healthy, could land there. Bradshaw can still be effective but his foot issues are a cause for concern.

The running back situation in St. Louis is a little clouded with Isaiah Pead atop the depth chart. Nothing is settled in Arizona but the team did sign Rashard Mendenhall to a one-year deal and then drafted two backs in the last three days.

Barring injury, it is very possible that these former backs will start out the regular season on the street.




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