By Sean Pendergast

UPDATE: Arian Foster signed with the Miami Dolphins before even going to Detroit for a work-out.

We’ve all done it at one time or another. We’ve strolled through Wal-Mart, possibly late at night, probably not sober, and rummaged through the bargain basement DVD bin to see if we can find any of the old classics from our teenage years.

We jam our hand into the pile and begin grabbing, looking and tossing .. grabbing, looking, and tossing .. oh look! Glitter for $4.99, meh … wow! $5.99 for Vanilla Sky … $5.49 for Faces of Death, Volume 13, how did that get in here? But then, you some across a gem .. a feature film from your younger years that’s part classic and part guilty pleasure .. and you scream “HELL YEAH! Can’t Buy me Love for $5.99!”

Well, that’s where we are with NFL free agency and Arian Foster is Patrick F’ing Dempsey, you free agency shopping fools!

For the last several months, Foster has been working out maniacally to come back from an Achilles that he shredded in Week 7 of the 2015 NFL season on the road against, ironically (more on why it’s ironic in a moment), the Miami Dolphins. It appears that now he’s ready to make his comeback, and according to, there are two NFL teams he plans to work out for this week:

He has a workout with the Dolphins on Monday followed by the Lions later this week, reported NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport via a source with knowledge of Foster’s schedule. While the veteran does turn the dreaded 3-0 in August, these two tailback-needy teams could use some insurance, or a possible starter, in case the Jay Ajayiand Ameer Abdullah experiments don’t work out as planned.

If Foster’s plan is to be part of a Super Bowl winner (and to be fair, he hasn’t really laid out his criteria for what team he wants to go to, nor should he have to), then Miami and Detroit are light years away. For what it’s worth, my Arian Foster Big Board on the Houston Press looked like this back in early June:

QB: Tom Brady
RB Depth Chart: LeGarrette Blount, Dion Lewis, James White, Brandon Bolden
Super Bowl Odds: +600
Cap Space: $9,470,093
Analysis: This might be the deepest backfield of the six teams on this list, but if Foster were to work his way into this rotation, the Patriots are the most intriguing in terms of how they might use him. If he’s healthy, I could see Foster being a 50-60 catch guy out of the backfield easily.

 Russell Wilson
RB Depth Chart: Thomas Rawls, Christine Michael, CJ Prosise, Alex Collins
Super Bowl Odds: +600
Cap Space: $9,980,839
Analysis: This would be a spot where Foster can disappear from the radar of Texans fans. This is a very young backfield, with two rookies (Prosise and Collins) in the mix, and Rawls (undrafted in 2015) in line to start.

 Mark Sanchez or Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian (i.e. not ideal)
RB Depth Chart: C.J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman, Devontae Booker
Super Bowl Odds: +1200
Cap Space: 6,232,142
Analysis: This backfield is crowded with the Broncos re-signing both Anderson and Hillman and using a third-round pick on Booker, but it’s Gary Kubiak’s team, so they make the list almost by default.

Joe Flacco
RB Depth Chart: Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Kenneth Dixon, Trent Richardson
Super Bowl Odds: +2500
Cap Space: $8,386,576
Analysis: The Ravens are coming off a 5-11 season, which, if we’ve learned anything about Baltimore, means they’re primed to get back to the postseason this year. Flacco is a guy who’s won at the highest level, and there are no world beaters in this backfield. A healthy Foster could start here.

Derek Carr
RB Depth Chart: Latavius Murray, Taiwan Jones, Roy Helu, George Atkinson
Super Bowl Odds: +2500
Cap Space: $3,464,289
Analysis: Kind of a wild card, a young team that is everyone’s chic “sleeper” pick. Foster grew up a Raiders fan, so that may hold some weight.

Eli Manning
RB Depth Chart: Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, Shane Vereen, Paul Perkins
Super Bowl Odds: +2500
Cap Space: $18,585,805
Analysis: The Giants spent a ton of cap space and draft equity shoring up the defense, and they’ve got weapons on offense. Also, Foster has expressed publicly how much he likes New York City.

Since then, the Deflate-Gate ruling was solidified, with Brady’s now serving his four-game suspension set in stone. Other than that, not much has changed. I would still see the above situations as best for Foster, but those teams have to want him, obviously.

For now, it appears that the very field on which he shredded his Achilles last season might end up being Arian Foster’s new home field.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on “The Triple Threat” from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter @SeanTPendergast.


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