Regardless of whether or not the New Orleans Saints address their back up Running Back position in the 2017 NFL Draft or via free agency, it’s fairly apparent the Saints will find someone to run behind Mark Ingram.
If the Saints choose to go the free agency route, here are a few names the Saints could consider besides the aforementioned Adrian Peterson.
Like AP, Charles is a big-name veteran with a recent history of injury problems but comes two years younger at only 30 years old. Charles has had a combined four knee surgeries on both knees in the past five years. With his injury history and less impressive resume than Peterson, Charles should come significantly cheaper. Charles appeared in only 3 games last year, but is two years removed from his most recent 1,000 yard rushing season and Pro Bowl appearance.
Blount is also only thirty years old, but unlike Charles and Peterson, had a healthy season last year for the New England Patriots. Blount had an NFL-best 18 rushing TDs last year on his way to another Super Bowl win, finishing with over 1,000 rushing yards and adding another 38 yards in the air. Unlike Charles and Peterson, though, Blount is not known for his catching out of the backfield, but based off his recent past might be seeking a starting job in a return to New England.
Williams is the oldest of the group, but probably the most likely to accept another back-up role as that is a position he has occupied the last two seasons in Pittsburgh. DeAngelo is the ripe old age of 33, but had a productive time with the Steelers backing up superstar Le’Veon Bell, even getting pressed into action on multiple occasions due to injuries and suspensions to the star Running Back. Even dating back to his time in Carolina splitting time with Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo has been known to be a successful pass-catching Running Back who would still be serviceable in a third down role with the Saints.