Over the next two weeks, we will take a look at each position group on the Packers and provide grades and insight on how they performed in the 2014 season. Today, we'll be looking at the running back and fullback position. Follow along with all of our positional breakdowns here.
As our look at the Packers backfield wraps up, we look ahead to the 2015 free agency period. Two of the four backs on the team have expiring contracts, and both will be unrestricted free agents as of 4:00 PM Eastern Time on March 10th.
Here is a look at the two players and the details which will affect their likely deals in free agency.
Years in NFL: 9
Unrestricted Free Agent
Expiring contract: One year, $1,051,85
2014 details: $855,000 base salary, $100,000 signing bonus, $46,875 roster bonus, $50,000 workout bonus.
2014 stats: 16 games, 24 attempts, 85 yards, 1 TD, 12,652 "KUUUHN"chants
John Kuhn hasn't actually eluded a defender in about six years (not counting the Pro Bowl, of course), so it seems odd that he's remained virtually untouchable when it comes to getting cut from the team. Now that his contract is finally up, the Packers can walk away without any hit to their salary cap. But does anyone actually believe that will happen? I bet Mike McCarthy is drawing up sweep plays for John Kuhn as we speak.
And look, I like Kuhn. He's had a good run. Made some nice blocks and a few nifty plays. But it's probably about time the Packers move on. Not only because of his dwindling production, but because the fullback position has largely become irrelevant. It was pretty cool at one time to see fullbacks slamming into goal-line stands and stonewalling potential blockers, but in an age where so many actual running backs have the size to do those same things, fullbacks have become little more than a novelty. They're the SkyMall of football players.
Accrued seasons: 2
Exclusive Rights Free Agent
Expiring contract: Three years, $1,665,000
2014 details: $645,000 base salary. No bonuses or incentives
2014 stats: 15 games, 16 attempts, 64 yards, 0 TD
At the start of last year, DuJuan Harris was going to be the guy. Then Eddie Lacy came along and he became the guy. Now? DuJuan Harris is barely even a guy. Essentially buried behind Lacy and James Starks, Harris has become little more than a special teams player and even saw that role vanish late in the season as his kickoff return average diminished.
The most likely scenario is Harris finds new life with another team, but who knows? Mike McCarthy was enamored with the 5'7" ball of energy just last season. Given Eddie Lacy's running style and injury history (though it should be noted he was perfectly healthy this year) and James Starks all of sudden being 29 years old at the start of training camp, the Packers could decide to re-sign Harris for added depth. And after all, he is an exclusive-rights free agent, meaning that if the Packers offer him a contract, he'll have to take it. It can't hurt to bring him back to training camp in 2015 and give him another shot to earn a roster spot, right?