Current free agent running back Stevan Ridley is still recovering from knee surgery, but that isn’t changing other NFL teams’ minds in free agency. There are multiple teams that are trying to fill large shoes in their running back positions. According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Vikings may be looking passed Adrian Peterson and have shown interest in replacing him with Stevan Ridley. According to CBSSports.com, a similar situation is going on in Dallas as the Cowboys are trying to fill a large void as DeMarco Murray joined the Philadelphia Eagles. Apparently, the feeling is mutual between both parties as both Ridley and the Cowboys have shown interest in a possibility of a signing.
It’s been a rocky career for the former LSU running back. On one hand, he’s proven to be a very talented runner between the tackles and has notched a 1,000-yard season. On the other hand, he’s been struggling to stay healthy and can’t hold onto the football. That would be a major reason why the New England Patriots as likely not going to resign Stevan Ridley. The Patriots had already let Shane Vereen go for the same reason, durability.
But Ridley has flashed enough talent in his young career to garner some interest in free agency. He looked like he was going to be the Patriots’ running back of the future once upon a time. His breakout season was back in 2012 where he ran for a total of 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. It became a completely different story in 2013 as he missed 2 games and saw both of his rushing yards (773) and touchdowns (7) decline, plus this was the year where his fumbling flaws were starting to show it’s true colors.
Ridley was starting to return to form at the beginning of last season as he appeared in 6 games and finishing with 340 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. But his season was cut short in Week 6 because he tore both his ACL and MCL against the Buffalo Bills.
Stevan Ridley does have talent, no question about it. Any team out there that is actively looking for another running back would be wise to give Ridley a long look. He wouldn’t be able to be the lead running back anytime in the near future because of his fumbling woes, but in a platoon role, he will still be able to excel when he is forcing himself in-between the tackles.
If Ridley reduced his fumbling and stayed healthy, I would be screaming for Robert Kraft to resigning him right away. It’s looking like the Patriots will be looking into the draft to select their next running back and possibly one for the future. That means goodbye to Stevan Ridley.