It's been four seasons since LSU product Joseph Addai was fantasy relevant. In 2007 he put up 15 total touchdowns and a little over 1,400 total yards from scrimmage. In terms of a 2011 equivalent, Marshawn Lynch comes to mind with 13 TDs and roughly 1,400 total yards. Those glory years for an aging Addai are long past and this was recently exemplified by the Indianapolis Colts cutting him on March 9, 2012. Although I would be hard pressed to say that his signing with any team will bring him back to fantasy glory, he could however sign with a team that would make certain players of his new squad more fantasy relevant. Even though he could retire given the fact that he has missed 12 games in the past two seasons combined and has little to no explosion from the backfield, I think he will end up on a squad in which he can utilize his strong pass protection and pass catching skills. There are several NFL teams that could use his veteran attributes and leadership in the backfield.
New York Jets – With the veteran backup LaDainian Tomlinson set to depart from the Jets next season, the running back situation is going to need another presence to offset the non-passing catching RB Shonn Greene. Greene's receiving inaptitude adequately illustrated by his 46 receptions in 45 career games for 1.02 receptions/game, whereas Addai has 191 catches in 78 games for an average of 2.45/game. Additionally, quarterback Mark Sanchez is relatively young and will need more pass protection in order to get the ball to his wide receivers. Sanchez was sacked 39 times last season for the fifth most among NFL quarterbacks. Obviously this statistic is more of a reflection on the offensive line; however, I believe that Addai can block at least as well as Tomlinson, if not better. Addai would be a good addition that would fill a gapping veteran presence after Tomlinson leaves.
Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore is another team that recently lost a veteran presence at running back in Ricky Williams. Add to that the addition of Jim Caldwell (former Colts head coach) as the new quarterbacks coach in Baltimore and we have a scenario that might tempt Addai to head east. There's no reason to believe that Caldwell wouldn't advocate bringing Addai on board to back up Ray Rice at running back.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Blaine Gabbert being sacked 40 times last season (tied for third most with Ben Roethlisberger) is an excellent reason to bring Addai to the Jaguars. Helping a young quarterback acclimate to the NFL, as well as, relieve Maurice Jones-Drew on the occasional third down will do wonders for Jacksonville's offense. Not to mention, hopefully give Gabbert a few more seconds to get the ball to their newest acquisition in wideout Laurent Robinson. Even though the Jaguars have one of the best salary cap situations in the league, it is ill advised to spend a lot at the RB position given the fact that Jones-Drew is the bonafide number one on the team. Thus, spending low on Addai and maximizing their pass protection is essential when the money needs to go toward other positions in more dire need.
Tennessee Titans – Prior to writing this article, quarterback Peyton Manning has still not chosen a team to bring his services to for the 2012 NFL season. The Titans are one of three teams still in the running. If Manning decides to go to Tennessee, I believe that Addai would be a great fit. It would give Manning some familiarity among many new faces. Not to mention it would also give RB Chris Johnson a viable backup with great hands to complement an offense that seems to utilize the running back quite well in the passing game, shown through Johnson's 194 catches in 63 games for a 3.08/game average.
With a number of running backs still unclaimed in the free agency pool (i.e. Cedric Benson , Michael Bush , and BenJarvus Green-Ellis to name a few), I feel that Addai could come at the cheapest price and carry arguably the most experience if you incorporate both the regular season and post season. Addai has been in the big games and carried the workloads. He catches the ball well and pass blocks even better. A team with a young quarterback (hence the Jets, Ravens, and Jaguars) should go after Addai for a primary RB backup role. They won't be disappointed.