It's midway through the season and, yet again, the New England Patriots are facing the second half of the season with a depleted backfield. Sammy Morris is listed as doubtful; Fred Taylor recently had ankle surgery and best guesses have him returning by the end of the season, if at all. That leaves Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis: a guy struggling to emerge, a third down specialist, and second year man who earned his stripes last season. With Sammy and Fred, we at least had a chance of establishing a ground threat and making opposing defenses think about our backfield. Without those 2, I don't think our backfield is taken seriously at all.
This brings me to Edge, aka: Edgerrin James. Edge has had an amazing career. His 7 years with the Colts set him firmly as one of the best backs in the NFL. His first 2 years with Arizona were similar, but his star began to fade in his third with the Cardinals. Seattle Seahawks picked him up for 2009 and promptly released him after 7 games. Why?
The Seahawks' decision to sign veteran running back Edgerrin James made sense when Seattle was expecting to immediately contend for an NFC West title.
James apparently became a luxury the team couldn't afford once it struggled to a 2-5 start, particularly with Justin Forsett backing up the promise he showed during the preseason (minus that fumble Sunday).
Seattle's decision makes perfect sense. If they're not going anywhere and will, most likely, not contend for a title, why not give more playing time to other backs who could end up being the future of the franchise? It makes sense for the Seahawks to jettison him, but would it be prudent for NE to pick him up? Here's a few thoughts as to why it makes sense: a) Edge comes cheap, about $1 million cheap, b) we're in desperate need of veteran depth at running back, c) see "b".
I am not jumping for joy at having to pull a 31 year old back to our team in the middle of the season. In fact, I'm hurling over the prospect. But what's a team to do? As recently as this Monday, the Patriots have worked out 3 backs, reports Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe. Not one of these 3 have the career stats Edge has, nor the experience.
Is Edge washed up? Who knows. He's not a long term solution, but could he provide much needed depth for a faltering running game?