The Bengals have already been gutted in free agency, but they hope to get Rex Burkhead back under contract at some point.
When that could come is anyone’s guess, but it probably won’t come until he gets a chance to visit some other teams. It looks like the Falcons are among the teams in contention for Burkhead after he visited Atlanta this weekend, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
Former Bengals RB Rex Burkhead was in Atlanta for a visit with the Falcons today, per league source.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 11, 2017
This would be an odd fit for Burkhead, considering his goal is likely to play more with whoever he signs with this offseason. The Bengals made the mistake of not playing him more during his four years with the team, but they did increase his workload as the 2016 season wore on, enough that they finally saw what he’s capable of when given a nice workload.
It seems odd that Burkhead would want to go to a team like Atlanta, who already has Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman. He would go right back to riding the bench and being a special teams contributor, as Coleman and Freeman are arguably the best running back tandem in the NFL.
Personally, I think the Packers are a team to watch for. They need running back depth with only converted receiver Ty Montgomery leading their backfield right now. They need help in this area, but probably won’t spend big bucks to add another back, even if Eddie Lacy and Christine Michael aren’t re-signed, and Burkhead is going to come at a relatively cheap deal with whoever he signs with.
The Packers would offer Burkhead arguably the best combination of playing time, money, and a chance to contend for a Super Bowl. The Vikings might be another team to watch for, being that their running back situation is a mess, and they have Mike Zimmer, who was with the Bengals for one season while Burkhead was in Cincinnati as well.
But for now, Atlanta is the only confirmed team showing interest in Burkhead. Expect there to be more in the coming weeks until he signs a new contract.