Colts, Ahmad Bradshaw in 'heavy' negotations

Al Bello

Ahmad Bradshaw would bring a talent boost to the Indianapolis backfield, but he would likely split time with Vick Ballard.

Free agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who has reportedly been closing in on a deal with the Indianapolis Colts since last week, is in "heavy negotiations" with the team, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

The former Giant visited Indianapolis last Thursday.

Stampede Blue: What's the hold up?

Bradshaw is coming off a fine season with New York in which he rushed for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns on 221 attempts, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. It was the second time in his career the six-year veteran eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau. However, Bradshaw hasn't garnered much interest on the open market, probably due to his injury history. Last season he missed two games thanks to foot issues, and he's played a full 16-game schedule just once in his pro career.

Despite his problems, Bradshaw has an impressive 4.6 yards-per-carry average since entering the league in 2007.

The Colts could use some help in the running game. Indianapolis boasts and impressive passing attack led by quarterback Andrew Luck, and the team ranked seventh in the NFL last year with 258.0 yards per game through the air. It was a different story on the ground, as Indy ranked 22nd in yards per game (104.4) and tied for 23rd in yards per carry (3.8).

Bradshaw could be a good fit for the Colts because he wouldn't have to carry the load at running back by himself. Indianapolis has Vick Ballard coming back for his second NFL season, and he put up impressive numbers during his rookie campaign. Ballard rushed for 814 yards and and two scores on 211 attempts in 2012.

Brad Wells from Stampede Blue says Bradshaw would likely be inserted as the starting running back from the outset:

If you care for my thoughts on this, I think Bradshaw will sign with Indianapolis. It makes too much sense not to. He'd immediately get elevated to the role of starter at running back over second-year player Vick Ballard, and because of Ballard's presence on the roster, Bradshaw would not need to shoulder the bulk load of carries. Bradshaw is coming off another season where he struggled to overcome injuries. Like Ballard, he is not a 20-carry-a-game back. However, he is extremely good when he splits his time with another quality back.

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