“When I first came into the league, no matter what team I went to, I just wanted to do my whole career with the same team,” Morris said. “That’s still my goal. I would love to return, but a lot goes into that. I haven’t thought about that. You all keep bringing it up, but we’ll see what happens.”
Morris finished with a career-low 751 yards rushing in 2015, though he managed 50 yards on 11 carries in Sunday’s playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. But the Redskins seemed to want more from him -- and from the position in general. These are the discussions Washington will be having over the next couple weeks, trying to determine what they need to do with their roster.
The Redskins like Morris and what he adds in the locker room. But from their starting back they want someone with more ability to create on his own and more of a burst. There’s a concern that Morris' first three seasons -- and 1,078 carries in his first four years -- took a lot out of him and, in fact, he averaged a career-low 1.45 yards after contact per season.
One of Morris’ backfield partners, fullback Darrel Young, also is a pending free agent. Young and Morris exchanged jerseys after the game, autographing them for one another. They consider themselves “brothers for life.”
There’s a good chance only one returns. And that one could be Young. His 107 snaps were his fewest since he played only seven in 2010 and were 91 fewer than he had a year ago.
But Young said he wants to stay here regardless of his snap totals.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I love it here. This is a place I’ve called home for seven years. Just because my role decreased... we’re winning and that’s what it’s about at the end of the day. I enjoyed the ride and the journey and I wouldn’t take one of these days back for anything. I found out what character was this year, overcoming adversity and doing a lot of the little things.”
The running back spot in general could undergo a facelift. Out of the five on the roster at season’s end, rookie Matt Jones is the only one under contract for next season. Chris Thompson is an exclusive-rights free agent, so the only way he wouldn’t return is if Washington declines to sign him. Pierre Thomas also is a free agent.
The Redskins signed Thomas late in the season when Thompson’s shoulder prevented him from playing. Thomas might have been signed last offseason had his price tag been lower. So the interest had been there in him for a long time. He definitely helped and the Redskins liked what he added in terms of experience and wisdom, knowledge he shared with others.
“Hopefully I get a call back from this organization,” Thomas said. “I feel I’m a good fit here. I can help.”