The Indianapolis Colts have made veteran running back Marlon Mack a healthy scratch because they are looking to trade him according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Shortly afterward NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that both Mack and Colts agreed to seek a trade. The only game Mack was active for this season was Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams where he carried the ball five times for 16 yards.
Mack was originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by Indianapolis. He began his career as the backup to Frank Gore but became the team’s starter in 2018. In his third season, Mack broke out as the team’s workhorse running back rushing for over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games. Last season in a contract year Mack tore his Achilles in the first week against Jacksonville after only four rushing attempts for 26 yards. That injury ended Mack’s 2020-21 season.
Even though 2020 second-round pick Jonathan Taylor had an outstanding season Indianapolis re-signed Mack to a one-year $2 million deal to give him the opportunity to show the league that he is still capable of being a featured or complementary running back in an offense. There should be plenty of teams interested in adding the veteran running back to their roster. Here are the teams who could potentially trade for Marlon Mack in the next few weeks.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers receive: Marlon Mack & 2022 Seventh Round Pick
Indianapolis Colts receive: 2022 Fifth Round Pick
The 49ers backfield has been extremely banged up since the beginning of the regular season. It got so bad that fullback Kyle Juszczyk led the team in running back snaps last week against the Green Bay Packers. Raheem Mostert suffered a knee injury in Week one that will hold him out the rest of the regular season. In Week 2 the next three running backs on the depth chart suffered injuries as well. JaMycal Hasty suffered a high ankle sprain and is now on injured reserve. Elijah Mitchell hurt his shoulder and missed the game against the Packers. Also, Trey Sermon suffered a concussion but was able to play.
San Francisco’s depth chart currently has Mitchell as their number one back. After that, it is Sermon followed by Jacques Patrick, special teams specialist Trenton Cannon and Kerryon Johnson who was just brought up off the practice squad. If they acquired Marlon Mack they could be adding a player to their running back room who will have a role in this committee right away. If Mitchell mises more time Mack could be a reliable starting running back they can trust to split time with Sermon who has disappointed the 49ers coaching staff enough to make him a healthy scratch in Week 1. When Mitchell gets healthy Mack could serve a role in this offense until Sermon can prove he is capable of being the team’s number two back in this committee.
Baltimore Ravens receive: Marlon Mack & 2022 Fifth Round Pick
Indianapolis Colts receive: 2022 Compensatory Fourth Round Pick
No team in the NFL has dealt with more injuries this season than the Baltimore Ravens, especially at the running back position. Before the season even started Baltimore lost J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill all to season-ending injuries. Their current backfield is a committee lead by former undrafted free agent Ty’Son Williams followed by veterans Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman. The Ravens also have former All-Pro Le’Veon Bell on their practice squad as well.
The Ravens lead the league in rushing yards even with all of the injuries they suffered before the season. However, it couldn’t hurt to explore adding another veteran to this backfield like Mack. He is an upgrade over Freeman and could even replace Murray as the team’s second running back. A committee featuring Williams, Murray, and Mack is strong enough to ensure the Ravens still have a great running attack throughout the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers receive: Marlon Mack & 2022 Compensatory Fifth Round Pick
Indianapolis Colts receive: 2022 Fifth Round Pick & 2022 Seventh Round Pick
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have struggled to run the ball this season. The only team that averages fewer rushing yards per game than them are the Pittsburgh Steelers. Leonard Fournette leads the team with 92 rushing yards on 24 attempts. Ronald Jones started two of the teams three games but only rushed for 52 yards for 15 attempts. New addition Giovanni Bernard hasn’t had a rushing attempt this season.
This offense will be extremely pass-heavy no matter what because of all of the pass-catchers Tampa Bay has at its disposal. But the Buccaneers may be able to increase the production of their running game by adding another veteran to this backfield. If Mack was acquired he would likely take away snaps from Jones who is the team’s most disappointing running back. It is very possible that Mack could be named to the team’s starter if he was acquired. Mack could see the carries on early downs while Fournette could be the change of pace and the third-down back.
New York Jets
New York Jets receive: Marlon Mack & 2022 Seventh Round Pick (via Philadelphia Eagles)
Indianapolis Colts: 2022 Sixth Round Pick (via Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
The New York Jets offense has been one of the worst in the league this season. However, this was to be somewhat expected when a rookie quarterback is placed behind a below-average offensive line and has a limited running game. Tevin Coleman was supposed to be the team’s lead back this season. However, it appears that the committee will be featuring more Ty Johnson and rookie Michael Carter after the first few weeks.
Marlon Mack and the New York Jets feel like the perfect pairing. New York is the best landing spot for Mack that gives him the opportunity to start for a team. While a boosted running attack will prevent Zach Wilson from having to attempt to carry the Jets offense throughout the season. He has the potential to be a real threat in this running scheme. Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur mirrors his offense from what Kyle Shanahan has done in San Francisco. If Mack lands in New York he could be the most dangerous weapon on their offense.
Philadelphia Eagles: Marlon Mack
Indianapolis Colts: 2022 Sixth Round Pick (via Indianapolis Colts)
Philadelphia’s offense has had no problem running the ball this season. Their backfield has been split between Miles Sanders and rookie Kenneth Gainwell. Quarterback Jalen Hurts leads the team in rushing yards with 179. However, the Eagles could still do their due diligence to reunite new head coach Nick Sirianni with the running back that was featured in his offense in two of the past three seasons.
Before taking the Eagles’ head coaching job, Sirianni was the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. A large part of Mack’s success could be accredited to Sirianni. Mack broke out for the Colts when Sirianni took over as offensive coordinator. If he was to land in Philadelphia his role likely would not expand from what he is currently doing in Indianapolis. But Mack would reunite with his former offensive coordinator and be a valuable backup to Miles Sanders who could see a large role in this offense if anything was to happen to him.