Former Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay was cut by the Houston Texans. Can the Falcons afford him? Would they want him?
The Atlanta Falcons running game has struggled mightily this season. The Falcons rank 30th in the NFL in rushing yards per game at just 78.6.
Much of the blame lies with the Falcons offensive line, but would a different running back help as well?
Former Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay was cut by the Houston Texans on Tuesday.
The 27-year old Lindsay was originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado in 2018. Remarkably, Lindsay was selected to the Pro Bowl his rookie season after rushing for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns on just 192 carries.
Lindsay backed his rookie season with another 1,000-yard season in 2019 with 1,011 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Broncos weren’t convinced that their back-to-back 1,000-yard running back was the main man in Denver, so they signed free agent running back Melvin Gordon to a two-year, $16 million contract in 2020.
Gordon led the Broncos in rushing in 2020, while Lindsay saw his production drop to just 501 yards on 118 carries.
Lindsay moved after the 2020 season to the Houston Texans, and the Broncos traded up with the Falcons in the second round to take running back Javonte Williams.
The Falcons signed running back Mike Davis to a two-year contract before the start of this season, but he has been a disappointment with just 290 yards and a touchdown as the starting running back.
To be fair, it’s hard to get a full read on Davis with the Falcons considering he’s usually having to break a tackle in his own backfield because of the Falcons porous offensive line.
One of the questions that is always asked when a player becomes available is, “Can the Falcons afford him?”
If the Falcons claimed Lindsay, they would owe him a pro-rated portion of his $2.25 million base salary, or roughly $926,000. That figure is one of the few that falls in line with what the Falcons can spend and stay under the salary cap (unlike the pipe-dream when Odell Beckham Jr. was cut from the Browns).
Davis’ contract is structured so that it wouldn’t be cost prohibitive to move on from him in 2022, but would Lindsay be an upgrade?
The Broncos didn’t think so.
The 2-8 Texans didn’t think so after he ran for just 130 yards on 50 carries in 10 games.
We say if the Falcons are in the mood to spend, they would be better off bargain-shopping for help on the offensive line.