First of all, I have to recognize my mistake. A while ago, I wrote an article where I mentioned the Colts lack of depth at running back. Many of you called me out and said that Spencer Ware could serve as the backup behind Marlon Mack. I did my research, and now I understand why some of you are so high on him.
There was a time when Spencer Ware was the #1 running back on a talented Chiefs team. In the 2016 NFL season, Ware rushed for 921 yards with 3 touchdowns and caught 2 more scores. His stock was definitely trending up. Unfortunately, Ware suffered some complicated PCL and LCL injuries in the 2017 preseason that sidelined him for the entire season. During the time he was out, Kareem Hunt emerged as a superstar back. After Hunt’s later suspension, the Chiefs relied more on a committee approach, relegating Ware to a supporting role on the depth chart.
Last season, Ware appeared in 13 games, rushing for 246 yards on 51 carries while catching 20 passes for 224 more yards. He was effective in limited action, and he had an outstanding game in Week 14 against a tough Baltimore defense, rushing for 75 yards on just 15 carries and catching 5 passes for 54 yards.
The Colts were able to sign Ware this off-season to an incredibly cheap contract for a player with his potential. The contract carries a cap hit of just $1.2 million and is just a one-year deal. Surely, the lack of long-term commitment suits Ware well, because if he can show what he can really do on the field, then he could be able to sign a more lucrative contract. More than likely, it would be on another team, since it is unlikely that the Colts will need Ware beyond this season.
Ware can give the Colts the #2 running back they so desperately need. Don’t get me wrong, Hines is an excellent receiving back, and is very versatile. I also like Wilkins, but when Mack was injured early last the season, the Colts running game was nowhere to be found. Ware has proven he can be a solid (if not spectacular) starting running back who is an able pass-catcher and blocker.
With an elite offensive line in front of him paving the way, Ware could excel as the backup running back behind Mack, and he could also allow him to take fewer carries, as the amount of touches Mack had late in the season was a little bit too much. Ware will help take a bit of the load off Mack’s shoulders, and is also an excellent insurance plan in case Mack goes down.
All in all, considering his minimal cap impact, and the value he gives to the team, Ware is easily one of the Colts best off-season pickups, and could be among the best bargains in the entire NFL.