Mike Shanahan has been a wizard in regards to finding "diamond in the rough" running backs over the year. The latest evidence of that was finding production our of guys like Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams this past season. Both running backs are set to be back this preseason along with draft picks Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Furthermore, stopgaps James Davis, Andre Brown, Shawnbrey McNeal, and Chad Simpson are still on the roster. But will the Redskins add more running backs via free agency once deals are permitted to be made? Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm thinks so:
But other options include sixth-year free agents such as Joseph Addai and Darren Sproles, two backs with divergent skills. Addai is like a younger Clinton Portis, perhaps with less power and short-yardage ability. Sproles is a cat-quick scatback; he burned the Broncos badly twice in 2008 (including in Shanahan's final game as head coach there), so there is some familiarity.
What Addai and Sproles both have in common is that they each come from pass-heavy schemes in Indianapolis and San Diego where they both were asked to pass protect heavily. Addai is more of a workhorse back, although Sproles offers the additional game-breaking ability as both a punt and kick returner.
Most Redskins fans are probably cringe at the thought of adding veteran running backs after last year's debacle with Larry Johnson and Willie Parker. But, the Redskins still are missing a change of pace, "homerun" back and the "Lightning Bug" Darren Sproles could be perfect for that role, given the right price.