Be it due to injuries, poor offensive line play or plain strategy that left him on the sidelines, Ravens running back Ray Rice turned in awfully low numbers this season.
His yards-per-carry average dropped from 4.4 to 3.1. He was held to less than 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 15 games after four consecutive seasons with at least 1,600 yards from scrimmage. His backup, Bernard Pierce , cut into his workload a little more this year, and it sounds like the Ravens will make it a priority this offseason to find more guys who can carry the ball.
"I think we need to diversify as much as we can what guys can do," head coach John Harbaugh said recently. "I've had a lot of conversations with (general manager) Ozzie (Newsome) and with (assistant general manager) Eric (DeCosta) and our different scouts about that, and our coaches, too.
"Big backs, fast backs, quick backs, route-running backs that you see around the league, we want to chase all those guys. You can't always get everything you want, but those are things that we could use."
I'm not going to speculate which backs the Ravens will chase, but it sure sounds like they want to split the touches out of their backfield a few ways. Even if Rice comes back healthy for next season and runs behind an improved offensive line, Harbaugh's words lead you to believe that Rice will be a part of an established running-back committee, hamstringing his fantasy upside.