Arian Foster is an interesting guy.
He is visiting the Dolphins this week and although he might not be offered a contract right away, as I reported earlier today, the Dolphins are obviously interested in getting to know him, about him, and gauging him as a possibility to fill their running back needs.
Foster, 6-1 and 227 pounds, is a vegan. Except occasionally, he gets tired of that and says he'll have meat. He's talked about being reared a muslim and now being an atheist. He's a philanthropist. Poet. Actor. Oh, yeah, and he's an NFL running back -- an unemployed NFL running back.
On that note, forget about him being a prophet because before he got back on the field last year he said, "I feel like this is going to be my best year."
It wasn't. Foster was able to play only four games before rupturing his Achilles against the Miami Dolphins last October. In that regard, Foster has been through the injury wringer. He's suffered groin injuries. Hamstring injuries. A broken collarbone. Torn meniscus. He required serious back surgery in 2013. He has started all 16 games only once during his seven seasons -- that in 2012.
The 2013 season was a dark time for Foster because he had the disc injury in his lower back that required surgery and ended his campaign after only eight games. So in 2014, the question was whether he'd be the same guy?
Foster responded with 1,246 yards on 260 carries with eight rushing TDs and five receiving TDs. This is what it looked like:
Foster struggled with injuries again prior to the 2015 season. He suffered another groin injury that required surgery in the preseason. He missed the first three games of the season and that's the point where cracks in his relationship with the Houston Texans began to show.
"I’ve recognized how vulnerable he is," Houston owner Bob McNair said prior to the 2015 season. "It seems like every year he’s had some type of soft-tissue injury. We just keep our fingers crossed and hope it won’t happen, but he seems to be vulnerable to that type of thing."
The Dolphins have to be very, very careful with Foster for multiple reasons:
They don't want to overpay for anyone much less a veteran coming back from a major injury and carrying baggage as being injury riddled much of his career. There is no use trying to fill a need, paying to fill that need, and then still having that need when the player you signed is injured. Remember, durability is an ability. Availability is an ability.
Foster, meanwhile, said early on he wanted to play for a winner and wasn't intending to sell his services cheaply. That's interesting because the Dolphins are not what I would call a playoff contender and Foster must realize this.
That means playoff contenders such as Denver, Seattle, and Dallas, who are system fits for Foster, haven't exactly been knocking his door down.