Arian Foster officially signed with the Miami Dolphins on Monday afternoon, shortly after the former Houston Texans running back finished a workout/tryout. The Dolphins were one of two franchises Foster planned to work out for this week, but he decided to sign before even going to Detroit for his scheduled appointment there.
Arian Foster was cut from the Houston Texans’ roster in March with the team apparently deciding they didn’t want to enter another season hoping he could stay healthy. Despite being one of the most talented backs in the NFL, Foster has missed parts of four of his last five seasons due to injuries.
Foster hasn’t managed to appear in 16 games in a season since 2012, and he was able to play in just four games a year ago. Last year, the injury that ended his season with three-quarters of the year to go was an Achilles tear. The severity of that injury seemed to convince the Texans Foster wasn’t someone they could count on anymore.
The Miami Dolphins added some depth to their backfield. https://t.co/ehW8AYe4b2— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 18, 2016
The revelation in March that the team had cut ties with Arian Foster came even though the facility where he was working out this spring had given him a clean bill of health. It’s possible Houston didn’t trust that the person who owned the business as Abdul Foster was Arian’s brother.
While the move to the Dolphins might have caught some NFL fans unawares, there were rumors this morning that Foster might become a member of the Miami squad by the end of the day. NFL.com is reporting Foster signed a one-year deal, although the site does not have the dollar figure to go along with that contract.
It’s likely Foster went ahead and signed with Miami because he knew there was a better chance of playing time with the Dolphins. The Detroit Lions are always looking for another back to add to their stable but tend to share the workload.
Ameer Abdullah broke out as a rookie for the Lions last year, amassing more than 600 yards of offense. It’s a safe bet Foster would have had to share carries at least with the second year player.
While the former Texan is slated to share duties with Jay Ajayi, the Dolphins are clearly not 100 percent sold on the young back being their featured runner. After losing Lamar Miller to the Houston Texans in what is a spot of ironic free agent moves, they’ve been looking elsewhere.
Before landing in Foster, Miami had gone after restricted free-agent CJ Anderson. That plan was thwarted when Anderson decided to return to Denver.
There is certainly reason for the Fins to hedge their bets with Ajayi, who hasn’t been tested yet as a featured back in the NFL. Last year, Miller was the main ball carrier for the team, and the now second-year player had just 49 carries for 187 yards in his rookie campaign.
Miller, meanwhile, had been a dependable running back, even if he wasn’t outstanding during his four-year career with the team. If Foster can recapture the skills and speed that make him one of the best RBs in the NFL when healthy, he would go a long way towards making the Dolphins’ offense formidable.
When he is indeed healthy Foster puts up eye-popping numbers. In 2014, despite missing three games due to injury, he ran for over 1,200 yards and averaged almost five yards per carry. He also caught 38 passes for another 300 yards.
Foster has almost always been productive when he’s on the field. 2015 was the first time he averaged less than four yards per carry over the course of a season, no matter how many games he played. His 2.6 YPC might be another reason the Texans decided Arian Foster needed to move on, and he has moved on indeed.
[Photo by Wilfredo Lee/AP Images]