Having already seen one of their free agent running backs – Shane Vereen – join a Giants team that has denied them multiple Super Bowl victories within the last decade, the Patriots may now see their other notable free agent back head to a division rival. According to James Walker of ESPN.com, Stevan Ridley is paying a visit to the Dolphins today.
Miami is in the market for some backfield help, with veteran back Knowshon Moreno facing free agency and unlikely to return to the team. Lamar Miller, who ran for nearly 1,100 yards in 2014, is expected to head into the coming season as the team’s No. 1 back, but Ridley would provide a nice complement to Miller, assuming he can stay healthy and avoid the fumbling problems that have occasionally plagued him in the past.
Ridley, 26, is returning from a season-ending knee injury, so a physical exam will likely be a significant part of his visit to Miami, assuming the Dolphins are interested in signing him. Ridley’s best season in New England came in 2012, when he rushed for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns as the team’s feature back. Fumbling problems, injuries, and Bill Belichick‘s habit of rotating running backs limited Ridley’s production over the last two seasons.
Ridley has reportedly received some interest from the Vikings and Cowboys this month, but Minnesota’s interest hinges on whether or not Adrian Peterson will return to the club, and Dallas was linked to Ridley before the team signed Darren McFadden. A report last week indicated that Ridley would likely sign a deal fairly soon with a team besides New England.