The Arizona Cardinals want to add a running back to the team. In fact, it was expected the Cardinals would add one in free agency. They have not yet, and it probably has everything to do with Adrian Peterson.
If and when the Adrian Peterson situation is resolved, I think there is one thing that the Cardinals will do for the running back position -- add a veteran to the room. If Peterson is acquired, he's the guy. If not, they will sign a veteran back.
The running back room consists of two players with two years in the league and one with less than one. In a locker room, you typically find at least one fairly established veteran in every position group. Last year, that player was supposed to be Jonathan Dwyer. He ended up away from the team and there was no veteran presence there.
I am big on having a guy in the room with more experience and who carries respond. It can be a guy who contributes very little outside of special teams like Jason Wright or Chester Taylor, who held that role when Ken Whisenhunt was coach. It could be Rashard Mendenhall, who got the bulk of the team's rushing attempts.
The question who would be that guy this year?
Obviously, Peterson fills that void.
But who else is available in free agency?
In terms of older backs, Steven Jackson and Pierre Thomas are available. Both are used to the workhorse treatment. Jackson hasn't been very impactful, but both could play a Rashard Mendenhall role.
Steven Ridley is still available, and some think the fit in Arizona is good. He is versatile and can contribute on special teams.
There is Knowshon Moreno.
A guy who might be a nice fit and fill another need is Leon Washington. At 32, he has a lot of respect in the league. He could be a third down back and also return kicks.
There is Peyton Hillis or Ben Tate. There is Ahmad Bradshaw.
Take a look at the list of available backs. Which do see as a good veteran fit in the Cardinals locker room?