There's been a shuffle at the running back position in the free agency. Five notable starters in 2015 -- Matt Forte, Chris Ivory, Lamar Miller, Alfred Morris and DeMarco Murray -- will all be seen in different uniforms in the coming season. NFL Media analyst and nine-year pro running back Maurice Jones-Drew surveys the offseason relocation for each and answers one question: Will the player have more or less success with his new team than he did with his previous club?
Matt Forte (Chicago Bears to New York Jets): More success.
Out of all the free agency moves at the running back position, this one made the most sense to me. It's a good fit for both Forte and the Jets. Forte posted a career-low 898 rushing yards and 44 receptions (tied for a career low) in 2015, but that is all behind him. The 30-year-old back is going to fit right into offensive coordinator Chan Gailey's system and will benefit from a better offensive line, which helped the Jets rush for 116.8 yards per game last season (10th-best in the league).
If Forte has at least the same number of carries (218) he did a year ago in Chicago, I believe he'll break 1,000 yards and get back near the top of the league in rushing. He also will become more of a threat in the pass game, as he excels in making catches out of the backfield and will create mismatches against opposing defenses, whose main priority will be containing the receiver duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Even though Forte will be in his ninth NFL season, I look for him to do some big things for a team that's looking to break into the postseason.
Lamar Miller (Miami Dolphins to Houston Texans): More success.
In four years with the Dolphins, Miller had one 1,000-yard rushing season (2014). I don't believe he was being utilized to the fullest last year under Joe Philbin (who was fired midway through the season), interim head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Zac Taylor. In Houston, Miller will serve a much bigger role in the running and passing games. It's this simple: more touches equals more production. Even with the Brock Osweiler-DeAndre Hopkins combo in the pass game, I believe Miller will get 20 carries every time out. With a good offensive line, we will see a possible career season in Miller's first with Bill O'Brien's Texans.
Alfred Morris (Washington Redskins to Dallas Cowboys): Less success.
Morris didn't surpass 1,000 yards in 2015 -- it was the first time in his four-year stint with the Redskins that he failed to do so. While with Washington, Morris' touches gradually decreased with every season, ultimately leading to less production (335 carries for 1,613 yards in 2012; 276 for 1,275 in '13; 265 for 1,074 in '14; and 202 for 751 in '15). Morris split carries with rookie Matt Jones last season, and the emergence of quarterback Kirk Cousins (who finished the year with a 101.6 passer rating) led to Washington becoming a pass-first team.
Morris will be in a similar situation in Dallas, which is why I don't think he will get back to his days of being a 1,000-yard rusher anytime soon. He will be splitting carries with Darren McFadden, who was the league's fourth-best rusher a season ago. Plus, if the Cowboys select another running back -- as NFL Media analysts have projected in their mock drafts -- Morris could be No. 3 on the depth chart.
DeMarco Murray (Philadelphia Eagles to Tennessee Titans): More success.
There's no doubt Murray's production will improve in 2016 with the Titans. It's like he said earlier this month, "I feel like I took a year off last year." Murray went from racking up 1,845 yards in 2014 with the Cowboys to a measly 702 yards in 2015 with the Eagles. He is not a shotgun runner, and that's how he was positioned in Chip Kelly's offense in Philly. Murray has put up his best numbers when he's in the home position to survey the field and make moves.
Murray seems to be a perfect fit for Mike Mularkey in Tennessee. The Titans head coach wants to run the ball as much as possible, and I predict that Murray might get 30 touches per game. With a mobile, young quarterback in Marcus Mariota and the addition of Murray, the Titanslikely will build the offensive line and provide Murray ample opportunities to have another big season.
Chris Ivory (New York Jets to Jacksonville Jaguars): Less success.
A year ago, Ivory was heading a Jets ground game that finished 10th in the league. Behind a solid offensive line in New York, Ivory had his best performance in six NFL seasons with 1,070 yards -- good enough for fifth-best among the league's top rushers. Like Morris, Ivory likely will split carries (with second-year running back T.J. Yeldon). Not to mention, the Jags' offensive line has struggled to open things up in the run game in the last several seasons -- ranking 27th in the league in 2015, 21st in 2014 and 31st in 2013. Because of those two main reasons, Ivory's production won't be anywhere close to where it was last season.