As the Washington Redskins analyze their running back depth chart, Samaje Perine could be the odd man out.
After having the NFL’s 28th-ranked rushing attack last year (90.5 yards per game), and being even worse in yards per carry (3.6; tied for 29th in the league), the Washington Redskins had to pull the trigger when LSU running back Derrius Guice was available deep into the second round (No. 59 overall) of April’s draft.
But that has created a very clogged depth chart. Samaje Perine led the team in rushing as a rookie last year with 603 yards, while third-down back Chris Thompson is back from a broken leg and 2016 leading rusher Rob Kelley is back from his own injuries last year and is reportedly slimmed down.
As part of ESPN.com’s piece highlighting potential preseason trade candidates around the NFL, John Keim points to Perine as the guy the Redskins could look to move.
Keim cites Washington’s desire to have a second third-down back, with Byron Marshall and Kapri Bibbs in that mix. Perine offered little as a pass catcher last year (22 receptions for 182 yards), to go with a dismal 3.4 yards per carry which would look even worse if not for back-to-back 100- yard games in Weeks 11 and 12 (217 yards on 47 carries; 4.6 yards per carry).
If it comes down to a fit as a special teams contributor as well, it’s easy to tab Perine as the odd man out in the Redskins’ running back mix.
Perine could draw some suitors between now and Week 1, as Keim suggested, particularly as injuries may hit around the league. But a lack of versatility, real or perceived, stands to limit that market some.
If the Redskins want to trade Perine, an effort to showcase him during the preseason would be clear evidence. Starting with Thursday night’s game against the New England Patriots, how the Washington running backs are deployed may actually be worth watching.