D’Onta Foreman Would Be “Hot Commodity” In Free Agency

Panthers running back D’Onta Foreman is expected to be a “hot commodity” should he hit free agency later this month, as Aaron Wilson of Click2Houston.com reports. Foreman recently indicated that he wants to return to Carolina, and Wilson says the team will attempt to retain the Texas product.

After the Panthers traded Christian McCaffrey in October, Foreman became the club’s feature back, and he ended the 2022 season with 203 carries for 914 yards (4.5 YPC) and five touchdowns. That represented a continuation of the solid work he displayed with the Titans in 2021, when he carried the ball 133 times for 566 yards (4.3 YPC) as an injury replacement for Derrick Henry.

So it stands to reason that Foreman would generate interest in free agency, and we heard in December that outside clubs were monitoring his status. Obviously, having a number of teams involved will help Foreman’s cause, but there are also several factors that will limit his earning power. For one, running back is no longer considered a premium position, and Foreman is not an elite talent who will be paid like his Pro Bowl-caliber colleagues. Second, even though players like Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard will likely be kept off the market via the franchise tag, talents like Miles Sanders, David Montgomery, Kareem Hunt, and Devin Singletary could be available, and even Saquon Barkley could be there for the taking.

Plus, Foreman is a between-the-tackles runner who does not offer much in the passing game. In light of all of those considerations, Spotrac estimates that the soon-to-be 27-year-old merits a one-year contract worth $3.4MM. That would be a nice raise from the $2MM salary he earned in 2022, but it would not be a budget-busting sum that the Panthers would be unable to afford (particularly as the team’s other RBs, Chuba Hubbard and Raheem Blackshear, are on eminently affordable rookie deals).

In related news, new Carolina head coach Frank Reich has said that the team is prioritizing a new contract for center Bradley Bozeman, as David Newton of ESPN.com tweets. We heard in January that Bozeman is interested in remaining with the Panthers, so there is a good chance that the parties will strike an accord in short order.

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