Since the Arizona Cardinals selected Ryan Williams in the draft, there has been a lot of speculation going on as to what is going to happen in the crowded Arizona backfield. People ask whether it will be Beanie Wells or Tim Hightower that gets the boot. With the running back situation the way it is, it makes it possible to do a few things.
Scenario 1: Hightower leaves
Hightower is a restricted free agent. There is no guarantee that he returns. Combine his contract status with his fumbles and he could be on the way out. However, he is young, versatile and inexpensive. Beanie and Williams together would not be a bad combo.
Scenario 2: Beanie Wells is traded
Beanie has been viewed as a disappointment thus far. The knock on him continues to be his durability, his unwillingness to improve in blitz pick-up and a reputation for not working hard enough. He is, though, still a promising back. He could be used as trade bait for a quarterback, perhaps saving the Cardinals a future draft pick. Hightower and Williams would be two versatile backs whose running styles would seem to complement one another very well.
Scenario 3: LaRod Stephens-Howling leaves
Hyphen is a little guy. Williams is short, but bulkier. Patrick Peterson can return kicks. Williams has the skills to be a good receiver out of the backfield. If Wells, Hightower and Williams are the three main backs and Peterson can return kicks, LSH may have seen his last days here.
Scenario 4: Standing pat with all four guys
I am leaning towards thinking this is the most likely scenario. Jason Wright may retire and he is a free agent anyway. LSH is a valuable special teams contributor -- not only in the return game, as was Wright. He could take the role that Wright had, leaving the other three backs to deal with the bulk of the carries. The positive to this is that one would tend to believe that Ken Whisenhunt is trying to get back to his roots of running the football. The competition will push all three players and ideally make the running back play that much more effective.