This off-season has been a volatile year for running backs. Four big name backs have switched teams already, but this year’s draft class isn’t the strongest its been in most recent years. Outside of Adrian Peterson, former Oklahoma Sooner and known as the draft’s best running backs in most team’s opinion, there is very few options that will make a team impact.

Former 2,000-yard rusher Jamal Lewis was basically run out of Baltimore as they offered him what amounted to a backup’s contract, a 1-year $2 million deal. Lewis settled in Cleveland for a 1-year, 3.5 million dollar deal that could earn him up to 5 million with incentives. He hasn’t been truly healthy since earning 429 touches in the 2003 season which allowed him to reach 2,000 yards. Lewis claims he can still run a forty-yard dash in the high 4.3’s, which seems highly unlikely to me, though Cleveland will give him the opportunity to revitalize his career.

Former Bills’ running back, Willis McGahee, was disappointing in Buffalo especially with rumors of his lackluster work ethic and study habits running rampant. McGahee reportedly didn’t know the plays and didn’t even know what down it was on a famous key fourth down stop during the 2006 season. The Ravens still see him as a great replacement for Lewis and acquired him through a trade which sent two third-round and a seventh round draft picks in exchange for him. They then rewarded him with a 7-year $40.12 million contract with $15 million being guaranteed.

Buffalo’s starting back hasn’t been decided yet, though last year’s backup, Anthony Thomas, hasn’t been completely ruled out. The Bills, in my opinion, have much more pressing needs than just a starting running back. Hopefully they decide to fill these needs before worrying about a new starting back.

Former Bills’ running back Travis Henry will also find solace in a new home. After returning to form for the Tennessee Titans in 2006 after two disappointing seasons (one in Tennessee, one in Buffalo), Henry was rewarded with a 5-year $22.5 million contract from the Denver Broncos. In past years, Broncos running backs have enjoyed lots of success under head coach Mike Shanahan and former offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. Henry should flourish as a Bronco.

Former Green Bay Packer, Ahman Green will also see a change of scenery this season. After spending the last 7 years as Green Bay’s primary running back, Green went to free agency and signed a 4-year $23 million deal to become a Houston Texan.