CBS Sports on Wednesday published an updated list of the ten best free agents available, and former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl running back and two-time NFL rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott wasn't included. Elliott isn't what he used to be, but still is only 27 (28 on July 22) and running backs often still excel until age 30. Elliott reportedly has narrowed his list of teams to three, not surprisingly all Super Bowl contenders: the Eagles, Bengals and Jets. SportsLine offers updated odds on where he lands. The former No. 4 overall pick hopes to make a decision by the end of next week.
Only the Jets were on the list of original contenders for Elliott put forth by SportsLine oddsmakers and obviously the lure of Aaron Rodgers could be strong. Rodgers still technically is a Green Bay Packer, but it's seemingly only a matter of time before he's traded.
The Jets have one of the most promising young running backs in the league in Breece Hall. He was the Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite last season before blowing out his knee in Week 7. The injury occurred early enough in the season that the Jets believe he will be ready for Week 1. New York also has a decent No. 2 in Michael Carter and re-signed Ty Johnson to a one-year deal on Thursday. Zonovan Knight is also still on the roster. Can the Jets even afford Elliott once they add Rodgers' salary?
Elliott's presence would surely make "Hard Knocks" that much more interesting if the Jets add him and are chosen for the show.
Carter apparently doesn't want Zeke. When reports emerged that the Jets were among his finalists, Hall tweeted: "I think we good over here [Michael Carter], [how about you?]" accompanied by a yawning emoji. Carter responded with one word: "agreed." Both eventually deleted the tweets.
There had been speculation all offseason that Cincinnati would release Joe Mixon in a salary-cap move, but that hasn't happened yet. At the NFL Combine, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said "I don't know" when asked if Mixon would be on the roster this season.
The Bengals did lose Samaje Perine in free agency to Denver, so they could use a back either through free agency or the draft. Elliott of course played at Ohio State, and Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow was still a Buckeye (didn't play) in 2015 when Elliott was there before Burrow then transferred to Louisville. Elliott would also be reunited with former Cowboys offensive tackle La'el Collins in Cincinnati, who signed with the Bengals last offseason.
Is Elliott bitter at being released by the Cowboys? If so, then clearly the Eagles would be the choice as Elliott would get to play against Dallas twice in the 2023 regular season. How badly is Elliott needed in Philadelphia? Philly did lose leading rusher Miles Sanders but replaced him with the talented but injury-prone Rashaad Penny to join Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell in the backfield. No single running back is getting massive carries in that offense because of Jalen Hurts and his ability with his legs.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Which team will sign Ezekiel Elliott?
- Bengals Even
- Eagles +200
- Jets +350
So which 2023 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts, and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine's Fantasy baseball cheat sheets now to get rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Joey Votto's disappointing season, and find out.
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