In 2012, the Washington Redskins drafted big names like quarterbacks Robert Griffin III out of Baylor (2nd pick overall) and Kirk Cousins out of Michigan State (4th round pick). In the 6th round of the 2012 draft, the Redskins drafted little known running back Alfred Morris out of Florida Atlantic. On the depth chart, Morris was behind Roy Helu, Tim Hightower, and Evan Royster. Many people thought Royster would start because he played well during the end of the 2011 season. Morris did what he always does; he worked hard and became the starting running back for the team. That season Morris ran for 1,613 yards, finishing second behind Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in rushing yardage. It is easy to forget about Morris’ magical season because everybody saw the greatness of rookie of the year RGIII. But you can make the argument that Alfred Morris was the dude that kept that team together and led the Redskins to the 2012 NFC East crown.
Since coming into the NFL, Morris has been one of the best running backs. Morris has reached 1,000 plus yards every season while being in the NFL. Statistically he has been up there with running backs like LeSean McCoy (then Philadelphia Eagles), Peterson, and Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs). Over the last three seasons Morris has had more rushing yards (3,962) than McCoy, Peterson and Charles. Yet, this running back is still on his rookie deal (4 years $2.22 million) Why? Is it because the Redskins don’t like humble and hardworking players? Or is it because they are taking advantage of Morris’ humility? During his rookie year Morris drove a 1991 Mazda 626 to Redskins Park. Come on man, for an athlete that’s humility at its finest. I have a regular nine to five and I would never push that to the office. The Redskins have a Clark Kent off the field but an on Superman on it. He is able to run through defenders and sacrifice for the team. While the Redskins were worrying about how they could move the football with inconsistent quarterback play Morris was there carrying the load. However it seems like the Redskins won’t take care of him like other teams would do their own.
Adrian Peterson was suspended for pretty much the whole season last year for beating his child. The Minnesota Vikings knew his value. They didn’t cut him or trade him. The Vikings honored his past, present and future by reconstructing his contract (3yrs approx. 44 million). Arguably, Peterson is the best running back in the game, but statistically Morris is very comparable within his production over the last three seasons (which I stated earlier). I believe that Peterson is more important to the Vikings than say Morris however Morris like Peterson has been the guy leading the offense. Pay the man! How about paying someone who has done right by your organization? How about paying a guy who has been one of the premiere running backs over the last 3 seasons? Crazy idea, right? I know.
In the offseason the Redskins drafted running back Matt Jones out of the University of Florida (3rd round pick). Jones is a power back with promise. It made me think. Why would the Redskins draft a similar style of running back? Why not draft a shifty speed running back? I stopped questioning the draft pick after Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden stated that Alfred Morris is the featured running back on the team. In training camp, there were reports stating that Jones looked good but you barely heard anything about the progression of Morris. Preseason starts and Morris looks shifty and good. You saw flashes of Jones but nothing special. Again, I just dismissed the thought that Alfred Morris was being low balled.
Then the regular season starts Morris plays well in a loss against the Miami Dolphins. Morris had 121 yards within 25 carries compared to Jones who had 28 yards on only 6 carries. In game two against the St. Louis Rams Morris and Jones split carries. Morris had 59 yards on 18 carries and Jones had 123 yards on 19 carries. After the game, Gruden was asked about the limited carries for Morris and Gruden said “the plan was to keep both backs fresh, so I intend on them both getting plenty of touches. I don’t really care who is in there.” I don’t care who is really in there? Have you ever seen McCoy, or Peterson treated that way? I haven’t, but hey the team won so it was all good. I spoke to Morris in the locker about the split in carries and he said “I just want to win”; showing that he is willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the team. Again pay this man his money please!
Here comes primetime Redskins vs. Giants on Thursday Night football. Morris, who is 5th all-time on the Redskins rushing yards list, only carried the ball 6 times compared to Jones who carried the ball 11 times. Add in that Jones got the first carry of the game. Morris deserves more respect from the coaching staff and organization. The organization needs to pay him for his service to this team. Fans always argue that players are handed too much. Well here is a player that is humble and is willing to work for his reward and the organization chooses not to bless him with the “love.” This disgusts me as an individual that believes that a man who puts it all on the line should be fairly compensated. As for the coaching staff, don’t embarrass this man on national TV. Jones didn’t show you anything special against the Giants. He didn’t prove to be the hot hand. Morris has done too much for this organization for coaches or whoever to not let him showcase his talents on Thursday night. We are not talking about a bum; we are talking about statistically a top tier running back. Hopefully the team smartens up and understands that they have a special athlete on their hands and decides to treat him right before they regret it.
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