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Top five free-agent RBs still available for hire

Time to take a look at the remaining crop of free-agent running backs. While we're at it, let's be honest: the cupboard is bare.

Not many years ago, most of these players would have generated significant interest. Not the case today. Age, injuries and diminished skills have every one of these men looking for work.

So who's left?

1. Tim Hightower (age 25): He's versatile and played well in Washington before tearing his ACL in October. More than a few teams could find a place for what Hightower has to offer as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. He's at the top of this list mainly because he's not on borrowed time like the rest of this crew. Word is the Redskins are interested is bringing him back at the right price, but they don't seem in a rush to do so.

2. Ryan Grant (29): The Lions are closing in on Grant. Before his season-ending ankle injury in 2010, Grant was a core piece of the Packers' attack. He's not finished yet.

3. Joseph Addai (29): His starting days appear over, but teams might come knocking if injuries mount. New England took a look last month, but Addai's injury history raises concerns. UPDATE: Peyton Manning on Saturday told Mike Chappell of The Indianapolis Star that Addai will sign with the Patriots. A source close to the situation confirmed the move to NFL Network. (We love when NFL quarterbacks break news.)

4. Cedric Benson (29): Cincinnati reached its breaking point with Benson, but his rushing totals over the past three seasons are intriguing: 1,251 yards in 2009, 1,111 in 2010 and 1,067 last year. His bar-fight totals are equally impressive.

5t. LaDainian Tomlinson (32): Until L.T. officially shuts the door on his spectacular career, we're not counting him out. He was effective two seasons ago with the Jets, but fell off in 2011. A candidate for retirement, but the real question is whether he wants to play another season. ANOTHER UPDATE: Tomlinson spoke with SI's Jim Trotter on Saturday and described himself as "95 percent" retired. L.T. said it would take the right team and situation for him to step back onto the field.

5t. Thomas Jones (33): Age 33 is the new 52 in the world of running backs, but Jones might work as a depth-chart pickup. He ran for 1,400 yards in 2009, but there's no threat of that happening again.

Other names include (the oft-injured) Cadillac Williams, as well as Ronnie Brown and Justin Forsett. Three seasons ago, we were talking about this group on a weekly basis and starting them in fantasy leagues, too. How quickly that has changed.

Drop us a line with your top five.

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