According to multiple sources, the Washington Redskins have inquired about re-signing running back Tim Hightower. Hightower was brought in from Arizona via trade in 2011 where he earned a role as the starting tailback. His 2011 season was cut short however, when he ruptured his ACL in a Week 5 game against Carolina. He attempted to make a comeback during the 2012 preseason, but suffered a set back after attempting to play against the Colts. The team released him before the season began.
It is unknown how serious the Redskins are about bringing back Hightower. Several other teams, including the New York Giants, have opened up communication lines with Hightower’s agent. His case is a difficult one for Washington’s front office. Hightower was impressive during his short time with the Redskins, winning the starting job outright in 2011. He rushed for 321 yards on 84 carries, and provided a versatility out of the backfield catching passes as well. At 26, Hightower may still have legs for the NFL despite his injury.
However, his extended time out of the league is cause for concern. The Washington backfield is crowded already with Alfred Morris, Roy Helu, Evan Royster, and draft picks Jawan Jamison and Chris Thompson under contract. Hightower may be a better option than a couple of these backs, but his injury and price tag may be too high for the cash-strapped Redskins. Additionally, he would have to learn a new offensive scheme, as the zone-read was not in place during the 2011 season.
If the price tag is right, the Redskins should certainly explore bringing back the talented Richmond tailback. However, running back is currently one of the deepest spots on the Washington depth chart. After selecting two running backs in the 2013 NFL Draft, it seems more likely that Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen will go in another direction for a change-of-pace back.