Veteran Running Backs Dropping Fast in Quarterback Era

February 26, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments

The notion of a featured running back suffering a severe drop-off as he hits age 30 is nothing new or unusual. The reaction to that drop around the league, however, acknowledges a rising acceptance of that as a normal function of the short half-life of the NFL running back.
The current battery of backs with ties to the 30-year-old chopping block stems back to when the season was still in full stride. Then Kansas City running back Larry Johnson was let go due not only to his status as a malcontent, but his severe production decline.
Following Johnson this offseason, LaDainian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook both find themselves in unusual territory. The two Pro Bowl backs were cut by their respective teams and are now compelled to test the free agent waters.
Johnson had been a highly productive back when younger, with far fewer total games than Tomlinson or Westbrook, not to mention roughly half the total carries of the ex-Charger. What he did have was a 400-carry season an...

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