Hilliard will not survive the waiver wire though....If anything were to happen to Ricky or Ronnie, Hilliard is the only one of the three (Cobbs, himself, Sheets) to have the potential to carry the load. Hilliard is the Williams-Brown insurance policy for the next big Ronnie Injury, or Ricky's prolonged retirement. Once Ricky is gone, Hilliard can take over. Once Ronnie is hurt, Hilliard can fill in. Either way, we need to carry him on the roster to prevent losing him to the Lions or such in trying to drop him to the PS..... I can think of a trade, yet then we lose our heir to the RB empire, which we do not know how long will remain.
If Ricky doesnt get hurt this season, I easily see him signing his contract extension scribbled on the back of Bill Parcell's rib wet nap.....
If The CBA is favorable, and Ronnie is productive after his latest injury, I see him getting a new deal. Although, I wouldnt put a sign-and-trade situation far from grasp. If Henne emerges with Marshall as his target, Ronnie becomes expendable for a first or 2nd round pick (depending on performance).
Both "if's " could keep the R&R express together through '11, or the train could derail some point towards the end of this season. Either way, Hilliard needs to be on the roster for fear of losing young legs.
He's not eligible for the practice squad anyway, so, either he makes it or he doesn't.
I don't think he's the RB of the future. Even if Ronnie were to get hurt, you still have Ricky and Cobbs, and with Marshall at WR Miami does not have to rely on the running game as much if it doesn't have to. That said, I don't see much reason for him to stay. He's a good special teamer and receiver out of the backfield, but those things are very replaceable with the guys we currently have on the roster.
If Hilliard is our starting RB in the future, we're in trouble and clearly have not invested enough in a young RB. He's a serviceable depth guy, but nothing more IMO, and I don't think Coach should lose any sleep over releasing him.