The Washington Redskins have two backfield players entering unrestricted free agency this offseason.
The first is quarterback Kirk Cousins, who enjoyed a breakout year in his first season as the full-time starter. He led a midseason playoff push that won Washington the NFC East title at 9-7. It's no surprise that Washington is committed to bringing Cousins back for, at the very least, one more season. President Bruce Allen reiterated that sentiment Wednesday when he told former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley on ESPN 980 (via The Washington Post) that he is confident that Cousins' free agency will "work itself out." The Redskins can slap the franchise tag on Cousins or work out a lucrative long-term deal.
Unfortunately, the same does not apply to running back Alfred Morris, who hopes to return next season. The former sixth-round pick has been a steady contributor since being drafted in 2012, but he saw his workload reduced significantly this season in favor of rookie Matt Jones. It didn't help that Morris failed to make the most of his opportunities, setting career lows in yards (751), touchdowns (1) and yards-per-carry (3.7). In the previous three seasons, Morris averaged 1,320 yards, nine touchdowns and a 4.5 YPC per season.
There are whispers that many in the Redskins organization feel that the former bell cow back has peaked. Morris has never been a burner, and his physical style of play may be catching up to him at just 27. Allen even said that the Redskins won't be offering a big contract this offseason.
"Free agency is going to be a great test for him. If he gets a great contract, we're going to applaud him. If not, we'll see what happens with us," he said.
Matt Forte, Doug Martin, Lamar Miller and Chris Ivory could all potentially hit the open market this offseason. Given the competition and the poor year Morris had, a great contract may not be in the cards for Morris.