James Starks, the Green Bay Packers backup running back, decided he had a pretty good gig in Green Bay. And because of that, he canceled a scheduled visit to the Pittsburgh Steelers today and reportedly spent the time putting ink to paper with the Packers.
Starks’ reported signing is the third by the Packers in as many days. Some may feel the recent developments in free agency for the Packers is shocking, but with as much money as Ted Thompson has available – as well as the number of holes he must fill – it was inevitable that the Packers would jump into the fray after the initial round of big money flew around.
Starks, who missed two games with a leg injury in 2013, he was pretty healthy for most of last season when he gained 493 yards on 89 carries (a whopping 5.1-yard average), and scored four touchdowns (3 rushing and 1 passing).
He was the perfect complement to bruiser Eddie Lacy, the rookie who took the NFL by storm, running over, around and through defenders while breaking Packers rookie records set years ago by John Brockington.
The re-signing of Starks gives Green Bay one of the most dynamic backfields in all the league. Starting with Lacy, you have power and speed, then you have Starks and DuJuan Harris battling for playing time as the main backup. And we can’t forget Johnathan Franklin, the rookie who showed a lot of promise last season before being placed on injured reserve.
Whether Green Bay keeps all four running backs will be an interesting area to watch … and will certainly bring about a great amount of competition. Starks brings an ability to hit holes quickly, while punishing defenders with his rugged, slashing style. On the flip side, you’ve got Harris who excels at busting between the tackles and making defenders at the second level miss badly.
We’ve got to be happy with this signing. Not only does it continue Thompson’s trend of signing his own players, but the results are a commitment to continuity that will go a long way in helping the 2014 Packers defend another NFC North Division championship and take another step for contention of another Super Bowl championship.