Yesterday seemed to be a day for tight ends and linebackers. Today is off to a strong start for running backs, as three names of prominence have found new homes. Rashard Mendenhall, Shonn Greene, and Reggie Bush have all landed with new teams today, while others such as Mike Goodson are making the rounds to various team facilities.
Mendenhall, a former first round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is still a young back with plenty of tread left on the tires; however, his 2012 season was hampered significantly by a torn ACL that he suffered in the last game of the 2011 regular season. He never got up to speed, and was benched after suffering a fumbling problem.
Mendenhall has had his fair share of media scrutiny, ranging from his struggles behind a below average offensive line to criticism for Tweets about the September 11th attacks. The final straw seemed to come late last season, however, when he missed a game after learning he would be inactive. It was all but assured that he would be leaving at that point.
Today, he signed a one-year, “prove it” type of contract with the Arizona Cardinals were $2.5 million, with incentives of up to another $1 million. He must prove that he is recovered from that ACL injury and that he can be a complete back, especially given the uncertainty surrounding the quarterback situation in Arizona.
Shonn Greene, meanwhile, who is coming off of back to back 1000 yard seasons, has signed a three-year deal to serve as a change of pace back for Chris Johnson with the Tennessee Titans. The deal is worth $10 million. While productive, the former Jet never emerged as a true number one back the team believed he could turn into.
Perhaps the biggest of the three signings, however, is Reggie Bush taking his services north, joining the Detroit Lions. He signed a four-year, $16 million contract to become the Lions’ feature back after believing that he showed he could do so with the Dolphins over the past two seasons. Bush is an accomplished receiver, and the Lions like to utilize their backs in the passing game.
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