After Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL in the 2020 NFL season, Wayne Gallman performed impressively, but where are his potential landing spots as a free agent this offseason? Let’s take a look at some of the places Gallman could head in the current offseason.
Wayne Gallman Landing Spots
Gallman posted 682 rushing yards on 147 carries in the 2020 NFL season. However, with his time in New York seemingly over, where could Gallman find himself playing in 2021?
The Atlanta Falcons look set for an open competition at RB in preseason
The Atlanta Falcons should be the landing spot all these free agent running backs are eyeing, not just Wayne Gallman. With the success Arthur Smith has had with Derrick Henry, every running back should be eyeing the opportunity to operate in his offense.
Gallman demonstrated the success he can have last season. His 796 total yards, with 682 on the ground and 6 rushing touchdowns, shows his talent. The Falcons have invested a lot in their offensive line recently and could be a dream destination for a free agent RB.
Could Gallman fill the Kenyan Drake role in Arizona?
Gallman is actually a really good match for the role that Kenyan Drake filled in Arizona. Wayne Gallman is predominantly a run-first type of back, making this a good landing spot given the way the Cardinals used Drake last season. Gallman could either slot in as the starter or could serve a role backing up Chase Edmonds.
Is Gallman a candidate to back up Christian McCaffrey in Carolina next year?
This might be my favorite free agent running back fit of the 2021 NFL offseason. While Gallman is not viewed as a back who receives a heavy workload in the passing game, neither was Mike Davis before last season.
If McCaffrey were to go down with an injury, Gallman could improve his reputation dramatically. The Panthers’ offense is one of the most exciting in the NFL right now, making this an ideal landing spot for Wayne Gallman to gamble on his future.
Gallman could be set to stay in New York with the Jets this offseason
If Gallman likes New York, then signing with the Jets could give him the chance to stay in the city while also having a shot to start. The Jets have no clear starter as it stands heading towards the 2021 season. The expectation is they will invest in the position in the draft. However, those players can often need time to get settled, which would give Gallman the opportunity to be a lead back to begin 2021.
Wayne Gallman has the chance to be a starter in Pittsburgh
Another place that offers a potential starting opportunity is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Benny Snell is not a convincing starter, and Anthony McFarland is still inexperienced. The Steelers tend to use their backs in the passing game, and Gallman has enough career experience catching the ball to potentially be the guy for the Steelers.
Pittsburgh is looking for a cheap, but experienced option to fill their running back position. Wayne Gallman could do just that, making this an ideal potential landing spot for both sides.
Is there a path to Gallman starting in Seattle?
The situation in Seattle is wide open. Rashaad Penny has the first-round pedigree, but injuries have hampered him. DeeJay Dallas flashed potential in short bursts last year but did not blow anyone away. Therefore, it could be Wayne Gallman’s job to win in Seattle ahead of the season.
At this stage in his career, the ideal landing spot for Wayne Gallman is somewhere where he has a chance to compete. Seattle would give Gallman that chance. He may not ultimately beat out Penny and Dallas. However, Penny’s injury history would suggest Gallman will get an opportunity on a contender at some point in 2021.
What is Wayne Gallman’s market value in free agency?
Regardless of the landing spot, it is unlikely Wayne Gallman has a big offer on the table in free agency. As promising as the 2020 season was, it was the first time since 2017 that he has crossed the 450-yard rushing mark. In 2018 and 2019 combined, Gallman had just 80 carries and 25 receptions. In those two seasons, he did not even cross the 500-yard mark in total yards from scrimmage.
Therefore, any deal Gallman is likely to get will be heavily incentivized. There should be no reason not to expect Gallman to remain healthy, but he has missed at least one game in every season of his career. However, the incentives will likely be performance based, given Gallman has yet to prove he can be a feature back.
As a free agent, Wayne Gallman is likely not looking at a large contract. Something in the region of $1-$1.5 million per year as a base salary, with another $500,000 to $1 million in incentives would make a lot of sense. Additionally, for Gallman, signing a one-year deal is arguably the most sensible move. Then if he can find another starting role and impress, he can look to cash in next offseason.
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