Broncos general manager John Elway hedged during the NFL combine, leaving the door open for both C.J. Anderson’s return and his possible exit from Denver. The former undrafted running back who earned a starting role in 2014 and last year became the franchise’s first 1,000-yard rusher since ’13, was on the edge. And even he knew it.
The four-year contract he signed in 2016 has no guaranteed money remaining in the final two years, meaning the team could release him without paying a single penny. In fact, they’d save $4.5 million in cap space in an offseason they sorely need the extra room to acquire veteran talent. Especially a quarterback, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports.
But the Broncos are in no rush to move on from Anderson. According to an NFL source, the team has no plans to release the veteran back but is listening to trade offers and believes it could get something in return, much like it did with veteran cornerback Aqib Talib.
In 2016, the Broncos placed a low-round restricted free agent tender on Anderson that afforded the team the right to match any offer sheet he signed, but provided them no draft compensation if it chose to let him walk. When Anderson signed a four-year, $18 million offer sheet with the Dolphins, the Broncos matched at the 11th hour, thanks in large part to the departure of quarterback Brock Osweiler. In 2018 and 2019, Anderson has base salaries of $4.4 million and can earn $100,000 workout bonuses each year.
Should the Broncos look to move Anderson, one team that has come up regularly as a potential fit for him is Miami, the same team that tried to sign him two years ago. Anderson is close with head coach Adam Gase, formerly the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, and the Dolphins recently signed Eric Studesville to coach their running backs. Studesville, to the dismay of Anderson, was among the six coaches fired by the Broncos this offseason.
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