Elite-level players don't often become free agents in the NFL because teams don't want to let them get away. That's true for pretty much every important position in the league, save for, perhaps, running back.
Running back has been devalued more than any other position in football, which is why we've seen big-name stars like Le'Veon Bell, Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon, hit the open market recently. And the same looks to be true in 2021, as there are a ton of studs set to hit free agency this offseason.
With that in mind, here are the top-10 running backs likely to hit free agency this offseason.
Free Agent RBs 2021
10. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (UFA)
9. Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons (UFA)
8. Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers (UFA)
7. Le'Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs (UFA)
Even entering this season, putting Le'Veon Bell this low on this list would've been unthinkable. But his value has plummeted around the league. He hasn't been the same since an incredible 2017 campaign that saw him earn first-team All-Pro honors and look like the best back in the business. He sat out 2018 with a contract dispute and underwhelmed with the New York Jets in 2019. But his time with the Kansas City Chiefs is the real issue. This offense should be a pass-catching RB's dream, but Bell has failed to carve out a significant role for himself. He was even surpassed on the depth chart by journeyman RB Darrel Williams in the team's first postseason game. Failing in an offense that any RB with a pulse should succeed in, it's starting to look like Bell will never truly return to form.
6. Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers (UFA)
5. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos (RFA)
4. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (UFA)
Leonard Fournette took a while to get going this season, but he's really cooking now. He's been the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' do-it-all back in the postseason, tallying 239 yards from scrimmage and 2 TDs on 45 touches through two postseason games. Capable of impacting the game as a rusher and a receiver, Fournette has likely played his way into a nice deal.
3. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals (UFA)
2. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (UFA)
1. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (UFA)
Aaron Jones is the crown jewel of this RB free-agent class. There's not much to say about the guy, really. He led the NFL in touchdowns last year with 19 scores and followed it up with a more efficient campaign in 2020. He tallied 1,459 yards from scrimmage and 11 TDs in just 14 games, tying his career high with 5.9 yards per touch, which was also tied for the third-best mark among all RBs. The only fair question about the 26-year-old's game is whether or not he'll look the same if he leaves Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.