Running backs are said to be a dime a dozen, but every team needs at least three good backs to start the season, which is why it is a surprise former New England Patriot Jonas Gray is still on the open market.
However, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe is reporting that Gray may not be a free agent much longer.
Update: ESPN‘s Adam Schefter tweeted that Gray will workout for the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday. The Titans, who recently traded for Terrence West, are looking for players to complement starter Bishop Sankey after placing David Cobb on injured reserve.
Gray, who bounced around the league since going undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2012, burst onto the scene last year. The 25-year-old saw action in only eight games, but he made the most of his 37 carries against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11, rushing for 201 yards and four touchdowns.
Gray was given AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the dazzling game, but he fell into Bill Belichick’s doghouse when he overslept and was late to practice the following week. The five-foot-10, 225-pounder registered just 20 carries and 80 yards the rest of the season and was given just four carries in the Patriots’ three playoff games. For the season, Gray totaled 412 yards along with five touchdowns on 89 carries and had one reception for seven yards.
Gray led New England with 107 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown this preseason. He also had recorded 5.6 yards per attempt, which is very solid, but that was mostly a byproduct of his 55-yard touchdown dash against the Green Bay Packers in week one.
Gray came into camp trimmed down, worked hard, and had no off-field issues. He also looked crisped on his runs and possessed good field vision, though Chris Wesseling of NFL.com believes that Gray’s lack of breakaway speed is what cost him a roster spot.
“Again, we kept the players on the roster that we feel like earned those spots and are the best players for our football team,” New England coach Bill Belichick said of Gray. “That’s not in any way critical of anybody else. We just have to do what we feel like is best for our football team.”
New England will head into the season with a backfield that consists of LaGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, Dion Lewis, James Lewis, and Travaris Cadet. Bolden is projected to get the start at running back against Pittsburgh as Blount serves his one-game suspension.
So what are Gray’s options?
He could return to the Patriots, as he still has practice squad eligibility. Other options for Gray include the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to the Steelers Depot, and the Cleveland Browns. The Browns traded Terrence West to Tennessee yesterday and now have just two running backs.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]