As I noted last week when I examined the most notable free agents still available on the offensive side of the ball, former Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is one of the more intriguing players remaining on the market. While Ridley remains unsigned, he’s set to visit another potential suitor today, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the back is meeting with Washington.
Ridley, 26, is returning from a season-ending knee injury and appears unlikely to sign with the Patriots, with whom he has spent his first four NFL seasons. His 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.
As he continues to recover from last year’s knee injury, Ridley appears to be taking his time in deciding on a new team, paying visits last week to the Dolphins and Jets. Potential suitors for the former third-round pick are likely using these visits as an opportunity to get a closer look at how that knee is healing.
While Alfred Morris is the clear-cut starter in Washington, and is one of the more productive running backs in the league, the club is in the market for some depth at the position after seeing Roy Helu depart in free agency last month. Helu was an effective pass-catcher and a solid third-down back, and Ridley doesn’t exactly fit that bill, having totaled just 23 career receptions. If Washington is seeking a third-down back, a player like Pierre Thomas, who has drawn interest from the club, might be a better fit.