Was thinking about Burner today. Wondering whether some of our concerns re: his longevity are misplaced. While he logged 300+ carries in 2/3 last seasons (2008 and last year), I think with a modified role, he could rock red and black for 3-4 more years. He has 1,116 career carries. Sure, he's 29, but his lifetime carry total doesn't even get him close to the top 25 lifetime carries list. Granted, most of the RBs on that list are HOFers or potential HOFers.
As for a modified role, to be honest, I'm not so sure Snelling remains a Falcon in the foreseeable future, or that he necessarily should. TD and company emphasize fiscal moderation, which means we may not pay what he wants or "deserves" if free agency ever comes to fruition. I personally think Snelling won't thrive as a number one back. There's a reason Burner logged 300 carries last year, even after Snelling averaged 4.3 yards/carry in 2009. I'm not sure what that reason is, but there is one.
Burner, on the other hand, is enjoying the most lucrative contract he will ever manage. And if he wants to keep playing into his 30s, taking a pay cut is one of the smartest decisions he could ever make, especially given the direction this franchise is headed. Moreover, he doubled his career-best reception total last year; if he can continue that trend, he'd make on heck of a 3rd down option.
It really all comes down to personnel. Burner can't do it on his own for much longer. If we draft a RB in the first three rounds and Snelling walks in FA, then I'll be very interested to see how #33 fares in a different (less carry-driven) role.
As always: I'm curious what y'all think. Discuss!