Jordan Howard's career has been an interesting one. The veteran running back joined his third team in five years this offseason despite the fact that Howard has racked up the third-most rushing yards in the NFL since joining the league. That's just the state of the running back position in today's NFL. Howard certainly understands the situation he's in, especially after rotating in a running back-by-committee with the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles the past three seasons. Even though Howard signed a two-year, $9.75 million deal with the Miami Dolphins in free agency, his role hasn't been defined.
There's no guarantee Howard is the No. 1 running back for the 2020 season.
"We didn't talk about my role or anything like that," Howard said during a conference call with reporters. "I'm just going to come in and be the best teammate that I can and be whatever they need me to be.
"I'm not sure about the opportunity. I'm just trying to come in here and do whatever role. I'm never scared of competition. Competition makes everyone better, so I embrace competition."
The Dolphins added Howard to boost a running game that was dead last in the league in yards and 31st in yards per attempt in 2019. Howard was the No. 1 running back in Philadelphia until a shoulder injury sidelined him the majority of the second half of last season. He finished with 119 carries for 525 yards (4.41 yards per carry) and six touchdowns, only taking one snap after Week 9 of the season.
There are no more concerns regarding Howard's shoulder. He's ready to roll.
"I'm back to 100 percent now," Howard said. "It took a while, but I'm finally back to being 100 percent and can't wait to get back to playing football."
The Dolphins will certainly address running back in the draft, but Howard is clearly the No. 1 back right now. Miami's leading rusher last season was quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (243 yards) while second-leading rusher Mark Walton (201 yards) was suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The Dolphins cut Walton just two weeks later.
The Dolphins still have a lot of work to do at the position, but Howard has the resume to be the No. 1 back. Only Ezekiel Elliott (5,405 yards) and Todd Gurley (4,298) have more yards than Howard (3,895) since he entered the league.
"I just thought (joining Miami) was a good opportunity for me. I feel like this is an up-and-coming team," Howard said. "I've heard from people about the exciting things they are doing. I know a lot of people were trying to say they were trying to not be competitive last year but they beat a few good teams last year late in the season. I definitely feel like this is a team that's on the rise."