Free Agent Ladell Betts Will Cure The Saints Running Back Woes


Former Washington Redskins running back Ladell Betts is scheduled to meet with Saints officials sometime later this week after he concludes a visit with the Denver Broncos.

Denver is currently down two running backs after injuries to starter Knowshon Moreno and his partner in carries Correll Buckhalter, neither injury will sideline them for long though and Betts is merely a training camp band aid.

Meanwhile the Saints are down a running back as well when during team drills yesterday Pierre Thomas seemed to tweak his left hand/wrist and has been labeled as day to day.

Coincidentally it was released the same day as Pierre was injured through the media that Betts was planning a visit to the Saints which begs the question was he slated to visit before Thomas’ injury and if not is the team not being one hundred percent truthful in relating the seriousness of the hand problem?

Betts has been on the market since his release from Washington March 4th, and although the possibility exists the Saints did not pursue him sooner because they were limited to how many free agents they could sign under the expiring collective bargaining agreement, it seems odd he is suddenly of interest to them.

Earlier this off-season the Saints brought in Justin Fargas and Jamal Lewis both for visits but never Betts.

Currently the Saints have five running backs on the roster including Thomas and Betts possible addition means he will surely compete against Lynell Hamilton, P.J. Hill and Chris Ivory for the third or possibly fourth RB spot on the roster.

The oft injured Betts was a former second round pick of the Redskins in 2002 relegated to Clinton Portis’ backup for most of his career in Washington.

Betts had his best season as a pro in 2006 when he rushed for 1,154 yards on 245 carries with four touchdowns after taking over primary rushing responsibilities. He has a carer rushing average of 4.1 ypc.

A true north and south power runner his style matches up well with the Saints needs for a true power back, not seen in their offense since the hay day of the great Deuce McAllister.

All indications is he is exactly what the Saints having been trying to find.

Hamilton was considered a lock to replace Mike Bell as the third running back heading into the 2010 season but if the Saints do sign Betts it seems unlikely that Hamilton could beat him out as the primary short yardage back.

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