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Running back Arian Foster a big name UFA because of his past

There are big names in free agency that excite -- Alex Mack, Janoris Jenkins, the franchise players like Von Miller and Eric Berry. And then there are names in free agency that excite because they are known to you and me and have performed great feats in the past, but they're probably not the players of those past feats anymore.

Arian Foster is the latter.


The running back will be visiting the Miami Dolphins this week. And on the surface that suggests the team is about to resolve its running back issue because Foster had 1,616 yards and averaged 4.9 yards per carry in 2010. And he had 1,424 yards in 2012. And he had 1,246 yards in 2014.

But he's possibly (probably) not that guy anymore.

And that is why I am told by sources that over-excitement over this looming visit is not wise because it will be about a medical check to see where Foster's recovery from an torn Achilles tendon is at less than a year since the October 2015 injury. This visit will be about getting to know Foster who is known for being a little eccentric. This is an exploratory mission and that is why, I am told, it probably won't lead to a rush to offer Foster a contract.

And even if a contract between the Dolphins and Foster is eventually hammered out, the Dolphins are still looking to draft a running back in 2015 for myriad reasons. The reasons?

This is a good running back draft. One Dolphins official kidded with me recently that finding a running back in this draft should be easy.

Another reason drafting a running back is a good idea is that Foster, for all his gifts, has been injury prone during his career.

He is 29 years old and played only four games last year before tearing the Achilles against the Dolphins. He missed three games in 2014. He missed eight games in 2013. In his seven NFL seasons, Foster has started all 16 games once -- in 2012.

Look, there's a reason that free agency started going on three weeks ago and Miami will be Foster's first visit.

So, yes, Arian Foster is a big name player.

But as there are questions about him, he might not be the kind of big name a team hangs its offseason on.