Arian Foster was once in the conversation for NFL’s best running back.
Now, the Dolphins just hope he’s part of the mix.
The Dolphins signed the veteran running back to a one-year contract Monday, instantly adding veteran credibility to a position group without much of it.
“I still feel like I’m a Pro Bowl-caliber player, and I intend to show it,” Foster said.
Foster comes with as many questions as answers, however.
He’s coming off surgery to repair a torn Achilles’ tendon and has been hurt two of the last three years.
But after a strong showing in a private workout with the team Monday, Foster will have a chance to prove he still has productive years left. The four-time Pro Bowler told Miami reporters Monday that he is fully recovered from the injury.
“I know that this league knows that when I’m on the field, I’m one of the most productive doing it,” Foster said. “If there was any reluctance, it was on their end, and that’s really none of my business. ... All I can control is how hard I work and what I put into this game.”
Foster has four 1,000-yard seasons in his heralded career, most recently in 2014, when he ran for 1,246 yards and averaged 4.6 per carry.
But he turns 30 before the start of the season — often the line of demarcation for running backs — and might not have much in the tank after carrying the ball 956 times between 2010 and 2012.
The contract he signed suggested the Dolphins have some of the same questions: one year for just $1.5 million, although he could make $2 million more if he hits all of his incentives.
Unless Foster makes a dramatic recovery and can turn back the hands of time, the Dolphins will probably still go into the season with second-year pro Jay Ajayi as their starter. Rookie Kenyan Drake, a third-round pick, will also be in the mix.
“I think [Dolphins coach] Adam [Gase] really knows how to use running backs out of the backfield, which I feel like is my best quality – route running and catching the ball out of the backfield,” Foster said. “I think he knows how to steer the ship. I’m just happy to be a part [and] have a seat on the boat now.”