When it comes to free agent running backs, the two biggest dominos fell on Monday night as Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook came to terms with new teams. Elliott to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. Cook with the New York Jets after coming to terms on a one-year contract.
While Elliott and Cook have found new teams, several other notable running backs are still available with the start of the regular season just a few weeks away. Here's a look at the best available running backs and what their best team fit is at this point in time.
Fournette could be a nice fit in Indianapolis, especially in light of Jonathan Taylor's as he wants a trade. Colts rookie Evan Hull started in Saturday's preseason opener in Buffalo and finished with 15 yards on seven carries and caught an additional two passes for 18 yards. Hull started ahead of Deon Jackson, while fellow running back Zack Moss was sidelined with an arm injury.
The Colts did just sign veteran running back Kenyan Drake, whose skillset could be a nice complement to Fournette, a traditional power runner who was a key contributor to the Buccaneers' 2020 championship. Fournette could also help take less of the burden off of rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, who was for 2023.
Hunt wouldn't be asked to do that much running in Washington. Instead, he'd be asked to complement fellow backs Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson. Hunt would also have to beat out rookie sixth-round pick Chris Rodriguez Jr. for playing time.
Like Fournette, Hunt's presence in Washington would likely aid their young quarterback, Sam Howell. Hunt could serve as a security blanket as a receiver for Howell, who attempted just 19 passes during his rookie season.
McKissic, who celebrates his 30th birthday on Tuesday, could help fill the void in Minnesota that was left by Cook's departure. The team's top-three returning backs from last year, Alexander Mattison, Kene Nwangwu and Ty Chandler, ran for a combined 317 yards last season with a 3.56 yards-per-carry average. The trio also caught just 17 passes, with Mattison accounting for 15 of those receptions.
McKissic wouldn't be asked to fill Cook's previous role as a volume ballcarrier. Instead, he could do more of what he did in Washington, where he was a reliable pass-catcher who in 2020 caught 80 passes while helping Washington capture the NFC East crown. McKissic can also contribute on the ground, as his 4.4 career yards-per-carry supports.