Giants’ Free Agent RB Options: Ezekiel Elliott, J.K. Dobbins, Jerick McKinnon Could Be on New York’s Radar

The Giants are reportedly searching for an affordable veteran RB2 behind new starter Devin Singletary. Could Ezekiel Elliott or J.K. Dobbins fit the bill?

The New York Giants allowed running back Saquon Barkley to walk in free agency, watching the former No. 2 overall pick sign with the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles while instead inking Devin Singletary to a three-year, $16.5 million deal.

However, Big Blue may be looking for more RB help this offseason, with one report suggesting free agent options could be on the table for Giants general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll.

Will the Giants Sign a Veteran Backup RB?

New York has five running backs behind Singletary on its depth chart, but none of the club’s alternatives have much NFL experience.

Gary Brightwell, who would likely be Singletary’s caddy if the season started today, has 52 career touches in the pros. Deon Jackson is the most accomplished option, with 95 career carries. Eric Gray, Jashaun Corbin, and Dante Miller have touched the ball 27 times combined in the NFL.

New York is interested in a “cheap veteran complement” to Singletary, as The Athletic’s Dan Duggan reported this week. Who could the club pursue on the open market?

Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott is no longer a bell-cow RB. He posted career lows in carries (184), rushing yards (642), rushing TDs (three), and rushing success rate (45.1%) in 2023 while playing inside an anemic New England Patriots offense.

MORE: Best Free Agent Landing Spots for Ezekiel Elliott

However, the Giants wouldn’t ask Elliott to take on a full-time role. He could become a goal-line option, subbing in for the 5’7″, 200-pound Singletary when New York is in scoring range. Elliott also caught 51 passes last season, proving he can be a part of a receiving game (even if he’s inefficient).

J.K. Dobbins

Injuries have limited J.K. Dobbins to just 24 of a possible 67 games since entering the NFL in 2020. He’s now attempting to recover from a torn Achilles, typically a debilitating injury that can sap an RB’s explosion.

However, Dobbins has usually been effective when he’s been able to stay healthy. He leads all running backs with 5.8 yards per attempt since entering the league in 2020 (min. 200 carries). Dobbins was medically cleared for football activities last month and has taken free agent visits with the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs.

Jerick McKinnon

Jerick McKinnon played 535 offensive snaps and hauled in 51 receptions for the Chiefs in 2022, but his role dwindled in 2023. His snap rate was nearly sliced in half, while the 31-year-old spent time on injured reserve late in the season before being activated for Kansas City’s eventual Super Bowl victory.

Despite his age, McKinnon doesn’t have much wear and tear. He’s only carried the ball 660 times in his NFL career, instead doing most of his damage as a pass catcher. That’s a role he could play for Daniel Jones and Co. next season.

Latavius Murray

Now 34 years old, Latavius Murray was the oldest running back in the NFL last season. He signed with the Buffalo Bills in May and became a contributor after fellow RB Damien Harris suffered a season-ending injury in Week 5. Murray became Buffalo’s No. 2 back, taking 96 touches for 419 total yards and four touchdowns.

An established veteran leader, Murray could be a valued presence in a Giants locker room that had issues in 2023. Schoen and Daboll, both former Bills employees, can get a Murray scouting report from their ex-colleagues in Buffalo.

Rashaad Penny

Over the past two seasons, Rashaad Penny has appeared in just eight games and handled 68 rushing attempts. But the conclusion of his 2021 campaign — when Penny topped 130 rushing yards four times in five games — remains etched in the collective NFL memory.

KEEP READING: Adam Schefter Doesn’t Expect Giants to Select QB at 6

Penny will undoubtedly be affordable. He earned the league minimum with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2023 and barely played. There’s no downside for the Giants here. While Penny will probably never truly deliver on his first-round NFL Draft pick promise, New York can take a no-risk flier.

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