The Indianapolis Colts and Marlon Mack are looking for a trade. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Mack is frustrated with his lack of playing time and is hoping to find a spot with more on-field opportunity. The Colts have honored this request, so there’s a very real chance that the five-year veteran finds a new home in the coming weeks.
The #Colts and RB Marlon Mack have agreed to mutually seek a trade, per sources. Mack is fully healthy after last year’s Achilles tear. But Jonathan Taylor as the bell cow and Nyheim Hines recently extended, Mack is hoping for opportunities elsewhere.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 28, 2021
Mack tore his Achilles in Week 1 of the 2020 season, but is supposedly back to full strength. While nobody would confuse him with the second coming of Barry Sanders, he can be a valuable part of a committee approach if he actually is playing like his old self.
Five Marlon Mack Trade Suitors
You know you have an issue at running back when Devonta Freeman is playing meaningful snaps. The Ravens entered the offseason with one of the better running back stables in the league, but injuries completely decimated the unit. With J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill sidelined for the season, the run-heavy Ravens had no choice but to place their faith in Ty’Son Williams, Latavius Murray, and Devonta Freeman.
Williams has certainly made the most of his opportunity, but the other two backs simply look old and washed up. Mack would easily be the second-best running back on this team and would see a good portion of touches on a Super Bowl contender.
Kansas City Chiefs
After a slow start, Clyde Edwards-Helaire came through in a big way in Week 3. The former first-round pick is the unquestioned starter, but there is absolutely no depth behind him. Darrel Williams is a fine complementary piece and Jerick McKinnon is a good pass blocker, but neither player could handle a three-down workload in the event of injury. Mack is probably better than Williams and McKinnon, and he has a three-down skillset should something happen to Edwards-Helaire.
New England Patriots
Following the injury to James White, New England should be in the market for a reliable veteran that can make plays on third down. Rhamondre Stevenson could theoretically be this guy, but he is just a rookie. It’s notoriously hard for young players to earn the trust of Bill Belichick, and Stevenson didn’t exactly make the best impression in Week 1. Mack isn’t a great pass-catcher, but he has some experience with the role. Perhaps most importantly, he can be a solid pass blocker, which is perhaps the most important skill you can have when your quarterback is a rookie.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might just have the worst group of running backs in the league. Ronald Jones can’t get out of his own way, Leonard Fournette kills the drive’s momentum every time he touches the ball, Giovani Bernard is going to miss some time with a knee injury, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn can’t even see the field.
does Ronald Jones have a dual-read from 54 to 45 pic.twitter.com/9rDQAWXRfB
— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) September 29, 2021
This underwhelming group of backs combined with Tampa Bay’s high-flying passing attack is the reason that the Buccaneers are throwing the ball over 70% of the time. While this strategy is obviously effective, can an age-44 Tom Brady really handle 752 passing attempts in the regular season? Because he’s on pace for that. Marlon Mack is a league-average running back, which makes him easily the best back on this roster. As long as he can find a way to not singlehandedly ruin drives, he’ll be an upgrade.
Chris Carson is a really good running back, but what happens if he goes down? The team lost Carlos Hyde in the offseason, leaving Travis Homer, Alex Collins, and an injured Rashaad Penny as the only other backs on the roster. Considering how much Pete Carroll loves to run the ball, they should probably look into getting a better backup.
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