Ben Tate will hit free agency as the most sought-after running back on the open market. The 25-year-old plans on becoming a top-shelf NFL runner.
"I think I can bring you an elite running back," Tate told KRIV-TV in Houston on Friday. "I've learned a lot being behind Arian (Foster). Definitely, when I'm healthy I think I'm an elite running back in this league, and I feel like I can show my abilities and my numbers and my play will speak for itself, and guys will be able to see that I am a guy who is a top-five running back in this league, which I believe once I get out there and get to show that on a consistent basis."
In a Facebook update posted Friday, Tate railed against those who diminish the running back position.
Tate is the top-rated running back in Around The League's top 101 free-agent list and No. 35 overall. His youth, power-running style and blocking ability will get him paid. In some eyes, he might get overpaid.
Tate reiterated that his time with the Houston Texans is over.
"I'm very grateful for the Texans selecting me and giving me an opportunity coming out of college," he said. "Without a doubt I'm very grateful for that. I just see it as a chapter closing in my life and opening a new chapter."
After sitting out what would have been his rookie year (2010) with a broken ankle, Tate had 421 carries for 1,992 rushing yards (4.7 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns in three seasons with the Texans.