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Need to Know: RB Arian Foster says he’s ready to go—should the Redskins call?

Jun 23, 2016, 4:43 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 23, 35 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 165 days ago. It will be 81 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 35; Preseason opener @ Falcons 49; Final roster cut 72

Should the Redskins go after Arian Foster?

The Redskins are still in need of a running back to back up Matt Jones and to take some of the load off of the second-year back. A good option may have just become available.

According to ESPN, Arian Foster, formerly of the Texans, has put out the word that he will be ready for training camp and that he is “hungry” to regain his previous form. According to the article three unnamed teams have expressed interest.

That previous form was pretty good. He four seasons with at least 1,200 yards rushing and three with 10 or more rushing touchdowns. Foster is also a good receiver out of the backfield with 249 career receptions and 14 receiving touchdowns.

The problem is, we haven’t see that form much lately. Foster has missed 23 games in the last three seasons. In 2013 he spent the last half of the season on injured reserve with a back injury. He was reasonably healthy in 2014, missing three games with hamstring and groin injuries. But the injury bug bit again last year as he missed three games early with a groin and then after struggling for four games he tore his Achilles and was out the rest of the season.

The Achilles injury happened in late October so when training camp starts he will have had about nine months of rehab. That’s a fairly aggressive schedule but it’s certainly possible that Foster could be ready, although it should be noted that all players heal at different rates.

If he is ready should the Redskins bring him in? There certainly is no reason not to conduct due diligence but there are plenty of questions hanging out there. As noted above, he struggled when he played last year, gaining 163 yards on 63 carries, a paltry average of 2.6 yards per carry. Was he still recovering from the groin injury? Or at age 29 was it just what tends to happen to running backs as they get older? In either case it’s a red flag for any team looking to sign him.

Another question is what kind of money Foster is looking for. In 2012 he signed a five-year, $43.5 million extension with the Texans. He collected on a good chunk of that money before they let him go in March. The Redskins likely would not want to pay a back with Foster’s recent injury history much more than the vet minimum, perhaps with some incentives. Sometimes players who are used to collecting big paychecks have a hard time lowering their salary expectations.

I’d be surprised if the Redskins get past the injury issues, the tepid performance last year, and the money to reach a deal with Foster by the start of training camp. But as the preseason goes on desperation on both sides could push them to a contract. I doubt it but you can’t rule it out.

In case you missed it 


  1. redskins12thman - Jun 23, 2016 at 5:11 AM

    Without confirmation that Jones’ fumbling issues are behind him, Thompson’s and Marshall’s health remaining a real concern, and Brown’s, Kelley’s or Young’s viability as an NFL caliber RB an unknown, I would release one player who will not make the squad and bring in one veteran running back to camp, whether it is Foster or someone else, for due diligence and to get a sense of what the player has left to offer.

    How does Reggie Bush compare to Foster?

    While I don’t have any specifics, my understanding is Pierre Thomas’ asking price to participate early is quite high and it may be best to bring Thomas in once the need for him is confirmed. Last year, Thomas demonstrated that he was keeping his body in football shape and was ready to contribute immediately.

    The wear and tear on running backs means that most of them only have a really short NFL career before their effectiveness starts to drop.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Jun 23, 2016 at 5:52 AM

    I say pass unless we can get him really cheap. Running backs as Gruden says with a lot of work and hits are not worth paying for. This RB has been ridden hard and put away wet. Unless he is cheap, stay away.

    Would be nice to get him cheap for sure, because we need more than we have. But this would not be an area to reach for with the pocket book.

    Paying him a FA premium would be reverting back to the type of deals Snyder would cut. If it were up to Snyder (without Scot, Gruden, and Allen in house) we would have offered 7 years and $100 M … LOL

    • colorofmyskinz - Jun 23, 2016 at 6:46 AM

      Pay him the league minimum and incentivize him with $200,000 per game with 15 snaps or more. Pay him $100,000 per game with 5-14 snaps. Pay $50,000 per game with 1-4 snaps. Zero for zero.

      • goback2rfk - Jun 23, 2016 at 5:48 PM

        I am sure the 4x Pro Bowler will take your wonderful deal, They should sign him to a decent and worthy salary if they can. There is nothing wrong with carrying a veteran back on your team much like the Arizona Cardinals.

  3. garg8050 - Jun 23, 2016 at 6:26 AM

    I wouldn’t at this point. Let’s see how the RBs look in camp and early in the preseason. If a vet is needed, I’d go back to Thomas. I don’t understand why his asking price is so high, it’s not like he was in great demand last year or this off-season. But he was productive last season for us and already knows the system.

    • lezziemcdykerson - Jun 23, 2016 at 3:22 PM

      I agree. Pierre hasn’t had the injury problems that Arian has, even though that might not be much of a factor considering he’d be a situational back. Still, think of the black eye that would be bringing him in, after preaching “build through the draft- limit FA signings, then he comes in and gets injured in the first game. Pierre at least has familiarity with our system and would provide continuity should we suffer an injury to our #1 back, whoever that will be.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 24, 2016 at 3:45 AM

      I’ve heard that guys do this with their price all the time. They say they want a lot of money because they don’t want to participate in camp then the price goes down towars the end of preseason. That could be why Thomas is asking price is so much.

      He was good for us last year, but in a very small sample size. We should remember that he hardly touched the ball and he’s now a year older. We don’t really know what Pierre has left. Same with Foster. If he’s anything close to his old self then he’s worth picking up in a rotation. But that’s a gamble. I agree with incentives. Isn’t there a way to add a clause for injury too? I think it’s basically you get a min contract then they pay you for every game you play in. So if you’re hurt, or cut, it doesn’t cost the team anything. I could be wrong about that though.

  4. goskins44 - Jun 23, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    NO! Not even at league minimum. He will take a roster spot away from a younger player with long term potential, and for what? A back who has not been good for 3 yrs?

    Keep building the way we are.

    • John - Jun 23, 2016 at 12:24 PM

      Give him Trent Murphys spot. He’ll be more of a “beast” than Murphy could ever hope to be…

      • colorofmyskinz - Jun 23, 2016 at 1:20 PM

        You will eat those words after you see what he is capable of without having to drop into coverage. He will be a wrecking ball. He is a run plugger big time and if we use him to leverage those strengths you will see a different player. He will be able to pin his ears back and focus on what he loves.

        He will be a beast mark my words, and you can rub it in my face if I am wrong. I will gladly eat the humble pie if wrong. He was a good draft pick. We will see it this year.

        • Caveman Cooking - Jun 23, 2016 at 2:13 PM

          I agree! In college, he was always going forward, and lived in the backfield. I’m hoping for the same now that he will, again, pointed in one direction.

        • John - Jun 23, 2016 at 2:23 PM

          I hope you like humble pie.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 24, 2016 at 3:48 AM

      We need to sign a veteran back wether it’s Foster or not. One of their young guys will get bumped. It would be stupid not to. Our backfield is criminally inexperienced and not particularly good. They need a steady veteran presence. It’s most likely going to be Pierre Thomas. But there’s a few other guys out there who be good enough.

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 23, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    Just say no.

  6. troylok - Jun 23, 2016 at 7:40 AM

    I think they need some insurance behind Jones, but I prefer the rookie route. Robert Kelley is big enough to be an every down back that could spell Jones every now and then. Marshall is intriguing with his speed but he might cut his teeth being a situational player based on his injury history. Both guys need some polishing but that sees to take less time with running backs than it does with other positions. Either could be ready by the regular season.

    • mtskins - Jun 23, 2016 at 10:28 AM

      It would be great to develop some of the younger guys, but it seems like most rookie running backs struggle with pass protection. I’m not in on Foster, but if we end up throwing the ball as much as some people think it would be great to have a back that could provide some insurance behind Jones and Thompson.

  7. reedo3000 - Jun 23, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    Sometimes being a fantasy football player has value in these discussions…while it is true his rushing average dipped below 3 yards per carry last year, he also caught 22 balls for 227 yards. He averaged >95 total yards a game thru those 4 games. He was morphing into more of a Matt Forte type back. I actually believe Foster would be the perfect fit in our offense not to mention a solid tutor for Matt Jones ASSUMING a signed off on bill of health and a fair market price. If you would prefer rookies behind a second year Matt Jones then by all means, but give me the vet who might still have something in the tank. When Arian is on and healthy, and IF, he is amazing.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 24, 2016 at 3:50 AM

      What does fantasy football Have to do with anything in this conversation?

      • reedo3000 - Jun 24, 2016 at 9:10 AM

        Guess I could have explained/fleshed out more. Simply that as an Arian Foster owner last year I saw a lot more out of him than simply a 2.6 yard rushing average and a torn Achilles. Is it true that a non fantasy player could discern the exact same information…of course. However, as made clear on these boards, not everyone is watching every other player in the league. It also is why the only football evidence Rich touted of him as a running back was his 2.6 yards per carry and not everything else i.e. balls caught, sorry QB play etc. To me fantasy skill also helps flesh out some of these top 5 articles Rich has been writing. While total yards are important, it is just one piece of the puzzle, and why you can’t forget about players like Jordy/Dez/Kelvin in top 5 WR articles. I dunno just some thoughts.

  8. wncskinsfan - Jun 23, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    Nope, I would not go after this guy. I would feel better about Thomas, although apparently his price is too high. Perhaps the wisdom here is to watch and wait for camp cuts from other teams.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 23, 2016 at 9:19 AM

      Is it that Pierre wants more than we want to pay, or that the coaches want to see what our younger guys have before using a roster spot on him?

      • bangkokben - Jun 23, 2016 at 10:22 AM

        I have no idea but my speculation is that if Thomas has to come to camp and do that grind he has a certain price but once the seasons starts, his price will go down.

        • redskins12thman - Jun 23, 2016 at 12:18 PM

          That’s my understanding too.

    • Mr.moneylover - Jun 23, 2016 at 11:09 AM

      Agree if they not happy with the RBs they got

  9. bangkokben - Jun 23, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    No to Foster.

    As to this taking a roster spot nonsense, the Redskins only have 89 players out of 90 spots on the roster and who’s going to guarantee a 29-year-old back a roster spot when he’s coming off an Achilles in less than a year? That’s not on the table. Lastly, have you seen the Redskins running backs? There is clearly room for a vet in that group.

  10. Mr.moneylover - Jun 23, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Naw I will stay away from this guy…when he was healthy he couldn’t get to the outside fast enough when there was open room and he hit the running lanes slow redskins better off finding 2 RBs to go with matt Jones and Chris Thompson I’m giving Keith Marshall the edge still because he can play special teams as well witch jay gruden likes…I’m starting to feel like Robert Kelley is gonna make the 53 man roster coaches like him but wanna see if he looks the same in training camp

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 24, 2016 at 4:06 AM

      Arian Foster was one of the best RBs in the league when healthy. What are you talking about? The guy was spectacular.

  11. John - Jun 23, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Foster could fill in and carry the load if needed. He has been banged up the last couple of seasons but also has had some not so NFL QBs (Case Keenum, Ryan Mallet and Shaun who fell off a cliff) running the Texans offense. He should fare well here with a lighter load and a better QB.

    Personally, I would prefer Reggie Bush as he is more versatile with a running style that contrasts with Jones as well as being quicker and the ability to catch out of the backfield or as a receiver out of the slot. He’s also a threat as a punt returner.

    Reggie! Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!!!

    • Jimmy kubas - Jun 23, 2016 at 12:33 PM

      I agree. Reggie would give us another weapon on offense.we would give defensive coordinators nightmares!!

      • Jimmy kubas - Jun 23, 2016 at 12:35 PM

        And…after Jones wore the D out.Reggie could come in and smoke em!!

        • John - Jun 24, 2016 at 2:19 PM

          Beyond Jones and Thompson, the others don’t exactly create a lot of excitement for me. Thompson has shown that he can make things happen but gets injured regularly. At least with Reggie, you get someone a little bigger and more durable and can do more all around. Pierre and Foster would be steady and reliable but don’t offer alternative running styles. Just no wow factor there. They need to be able to do like back in the day, run them over with Riggo then change them up with Joe Washington.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 24, 2016 at 2:49 PM

          Are you guys kidding me with this Reggie Bush pep rally? He’s more durable? He’s always hurt and he’s almost two years older than Foster. Foster was once arguably the best RB in the NFL. He was at least one of the best. His 4 pro bowls should be proof of something like that. Reggie has overall been a massive bust. He had essentially 3 good seasons in 2011, 12, and 13. Now he’s old and coming off a season ending knee injury. This really sounds like a good idea to you guys?

          I’m not banging he drum for Foster either. I’m just saying: if we’re going to go for an old and broken down RB then let’s go for the guy two years younger who’s at least been at the top before. Or Pierre Thomas, who was frankly a better version of Bush in New Orleans and who already knows the offense.

          The reality guys, is that we didn’t properly address this issue when better talent was available either in free agency or the draft. And we didn’t really adress the run D either. Scot McCloughan obviously doubled down on the pass. He obviously believes the league has evolved and being able to pass and stop the pass is more important than the run. Our run game is going to go as far as Jones takes us. Thompson is a nice compliment but not a workhorse. Any veteran we bring in will just be a compliment. Either Jones takes a massive leap forward or we’re going to live and die with the passing game. It’s that simple.

      • John - Jun 23, 2016 at 2:17 PM

        That’s what I’m talk’in about!

      • John - Jun 23, 2016 at 2:20 PM

        Let’s make them stay up at night worrying how to stop our offense! Another weapon if Thompson or Crowder gets hurt.

        • Jimmy kubas - Jun 24, 2016 at 12:43 PM

          That’s right John. Imagine Jones busting a 30-40 yard run….in comes bush..along with Jackson,garcon,Reed,Crowder in the slot!!! Defense winded from chasing Jones!!! A nightmare huh!? But we still have a training camp.. Maybe one of the young guys ball out!!! And we won’t need Reggie. But I’m loving the talent and depth we are building now.super excited for the upcoming season.

  12. Oakland Red - Jun 23, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    No way on Foster. We have running backs with a lot of potential. The running game will improve a lot if Lauvao, Lichtensteiger, Paul, Paulsen, Davis are there to block, along with an improving blocker in Reed. We were doing good early in the year last year.

    Thompson had a very high ypc despite our blocking, Jones can solve the fumbling and has power and speed, and Marshall is very promising.

    The 32nd ranked running game ranking is not based on 2016 realities.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 24, 2016 at 3:08 PM

      I don’t understand how anyone can say Keith Marshall is very promising. Has he even practiced yet? He was a highly touted HS recruit but was a complete college bust. Don’t tell me it was because of injury either. He’s been healthy for a while now. He was a 7th round pick for a reason. Every single GM let him fall to the END of the seventh round. That’s not promising. If speed is all it took to be a star player in the NFL then a lot of track stars are going broke after college for no reason. The guy hasnt accomplished anything or shown anything except he can run in a straight line very fast. That’s reality. This run game isn’t going to be good unless Jones takes a massive leap forward or we get a miracle trade/free agent. That’s reality.

      The run blocking should improve though. Scherff and Moses should do much better year two starting. Williams is a monster but he didn’t run block as well last year probably because he was so busy helping the LG. We should all hope and pray Kory can get healthy enough to play because he’s he best center we’re going to get. But I’m optimistic about the LG mostly because of Bill Callahan. We’re just probably not going to have great running backs. Doesn’t mean they can’t do better than last year.

  13. bangkokben - Jun 23, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Sling the snot out of the ball. Use the run like salt — in moderation. Who needs a name back? Find the next Trung Canidate.

  14. kenlinkins - Jun 23, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    I have to think if the Redskins GM saw a RB out there that was worth the asking price he would have signed one by now. To date this GM has been pretty good at finding spare parts when required. IMO he has a plan and his eye on a few guys who just might fit here and is waiting for the right time. The question IMO is when is the right time, before training camp, after other teams cut down to 53, or a week or two in the season? IMO I would leave Foster and Bush alone. I am not sure they would fit what the GM is trying to build here, even if it was only for one year. Just keep your fingers crossed that Jones doesn’t go down in Camp and force the GM’s hand early.

    • wvredskins - Jun 23, 2016 at 4:26 PM

      I agree Ken, I believe if we brought Bush or Foster in (high profile players), it would only cause problems. Stay away from them, and let these rookies and Matt Jones battle it out and who knows, one of these Rookies might be a Alfred Morris. HTTR

  15. goback2rfk - Jun 23, 2016 at 5:54 PM

    Foster is not even 30 years old yet and is a 4x time Pro Bowler and Rushing Champion. These stupid league minimum offers will not be accepted by Arian. You guys need to stop it with that stupid sh|t. This is Arian Foster not Pierre Thomas. He should be signed to a normal deal not exceeding face value to be kept in the back pocket in case he is needed. He is great out of the back field and Cousins likes to dump off and throw short passes so Foster may very well fit in nicely.

  16. Raymond Martinez - Jun 23, 2016 at 7:12 PM

    Hell no..rather sign joique bell.same attributes plus healthy on a regular basis

    • goback2rfk - Jun 23, 2016 at 9:04 PM

      Is that the same Joique Bell that basically did not play last year because he was hurt and basically has not done sh|t in years in the NFL? that Joique Bell?

      • Trey Gregory - Jun 24, 2016 at 4:08 AM

        Yes it is. I keep seeing people say he’s good and durable…. Hm.

        • Elijah - Jun 24, 2016 at 9:47 AM

          If the Cowboys release Darren McFadden he could be a good option. It’s only his elbow that is injured.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 24, 2016 at 12:32 PM

          I don’t see that happening. I agree he would be a good option but they’re not releasing him.

        • John - Jun 25, 2016 at 8:47 PM

          I say get Reggie. Being a vet, he’s not going to be expected to be “the guy”. He’s not the body type to carry the ball 20+ times. He never should have been expected to do that.

          He can be a change up as well as a receiver out of the backfield as well as the slot. He can also pass protect, when needed. The main thing is he is a playmaker and can make the big play. This team needs more of that.

          PT and AF don’t offer a different running style, when compared with Jones. Archives

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