Colts sign potential lead back Ahmad Bradshaw
The Colts made a move to improve their backfield situation on Tuesday, signing former Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.
A very effective runner when healthy, Bradshaw is already the frontrunner to lead the Colts' backfield in snaps, assuming he can stay on the field. Troublesome feet have slowed the 27-year-old runner in recent seasons, and they deterred some teams from signing him earlier in free agency.
Bradshaw will bring toughness to the Colts' offense as a player who can run between the tackles, catch passes out of the backfield, and protect the quarterback as well as any running back in the league. He could even get plenty of looks at the goal line, as opposed to Ballard, who scored only two touchdowns on the ground the entire 2012 season.
Despite the nagging injuries, Bradshaw had one of his most productive seasons in 2012, rushing for 1,015 yards on 4.6 per carry with six touchdowns. He also added 23 catches for 245 yards. Bradshaw has received 200+ carries in two seasons during his six-year NFL career, and has topped the thousand-yard mark in both of them.
Though Bradshaw very well may be the lead man in the Colts' backfield, expect Ballard to still factor in heavily. With Bradshaw's injury history, the Colts will be cautious not to overuse him and do their best to keep him healthy throughout the season.
With Bradshaw in town and Ballard's roster spot locked up, the Colts are now likely to release either Donald Brown or Delone Carter by the start of the regular season.