Broncos release CJ Anderson

The Denver Broncos have finally parted ways with veteran running back CJ Anderson on the day they began voluntary workouts ahead of the 2018 season.

Rumors had been rife throughout the offseason that the 27-year-old could be on his way out, and the team was shopping him.

One proposed trade with the Miami Dolphins for right tackle Ja’Wuan James fell through before the Broncos traded with Arizona for Jared Veldheer, but with no trade partner likely, the team has decided to move on.

The Broncos save $4.5 million for each of the next two seasons with no dead money from Anderson’s four-year $18m contract signed in 2016 when the Broncos matched an offer sheet from Miami.

Anderson confirmed on Twitter that the Broncos made no offer to renegotiate his contract.

Anderson later thanked Broncos and fans for their support for an undrafted Californian kid during “an amazing five years” and he is excited for the next chapter in his NFL career.

In confirming Anderson’s release, Broncos president of football operations and general manager John Elway described Anderson as an “important members of the team” and paid tribute to his many contributions on and off the field.

The Broncos signed Anderson as an undrafted free agent out of Cal in 2013 and he helped the team reach Super Bowl 48 in his rookie season.

While Anderson was often maligned as an average running back, he was seen as an extra set of eyes for quarterbacks as he honed his ability to read defenses during the Peyton Manning years, and was vital in supporting backup quarterback Brock Osweiler while Manning was injured in 2015.

Anderson was hot at the end of the 2014 season, scoring eight touchdowns in eight games and was selected to the Pro Bowl, while he also played a pivotal role in the Broncos’ march to winning Super Bowl 50, including a pair of touchdowns as he went off against New England in a 30-24 overtime win.

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Injury limited his 2016 season to just seven appearances, but Anderson bounced back in 2017 to post his maiden 1,000-yard season, despite scoring the fewest touchdowns since his rookie season.

Anderson was graded sixth overall among running backs by PFF, ahead of Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy, Ezekiel Elliott and Super Bowl winner Jay Ajayi, and had the second-best pass block grade behind Tennessee’s DeMarco Murray.

From his five years in Broncos Country, Anderson rushed for 3,051 yards from 693 attempts with a 4.4-yard average, and 20 touchdowns, as well as weighing in with eight receiving touchdowns.

His release leaves the Broncos with big questions 10 days before the 2018 NFL Draft that boasts a deep running back class.

Devontae Booker, who was initially listed as co-number one running back with Anderson last season before a wrist injury kept him out for the start of the season, projects to be the starter, while De’Angelo Henderson, who was drafted in the sixth-round in 2017, is the only other running back on the roster.

Anderson is expected to command plenty of interest in free agency, including from the Dolphins, whose head coach is former Broncos quarterbacks coach Adam Gase, while Eric Studesville — Anderson’s running backs coach in Denver — is now in Miami after leaving the Broncos in January.

About Paul Thomas 181 Articles
Paul is one of Broncos Europe's main contributors, based in London, England. When not providing us with the latest Denver Broncos news, he can be found in a sports bar watching any sport. A long-time Broncos fan, he tries to forget many of the bad pre-Manning years.

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