After failing to find a trade partner, the Denver Broncos deletion could be the Bucs addition, as running back C.J. Anderson was released Monday afternoon.
First, Anderson was let go after two seasons into a four year $18 million deal, as the Broncos want to go younger and less expensive. He rushed for 1,007 yards and three touchdowns during a dismal Denver effort last season. He was slated to make $4.5 million in the Mile High City in 2018.
As for the Buccaneers, they are searching running back help themselves after cutting loose their feature back of the last six years, Doug Martin, just as free agency began. As head coach Dirk Koetter explained last month at the NFL owners meetings, Tampa Bay currently intends to go with third year former un-drafted back Peyton Barber as their starter this year.
The Bucs began to use Barber more in the final month of 2017. Starting with the Green Bay game in December, when Barber ran 23 times for 102 yards, it was apparent that the team wanted to give him more of a look at the end season. He finished in the final four games rushing for at least 50 yards in all of them and averaging over 4 yards per carry in all of them, as well.
The Bucs also have veteran Jacquizz Rodgers on the roster, but he is not an every down back at this stage of his career. So, obviously, whether it’s a veteran situation like this one that has now presented itself or drafting a back upcoming in 10 days at the NFL Draft, the Buccaneers are searching.
Back to Anderson, he’s just 5’8, but is 220lbs. His best season was in the Denver Superbowl winning year of 2015, when he ran for 849 yards on a 4.7 yards per carry average and eight touchdowns in the regular season.
His best game came in the biggest game, as he ran for 90 yards and a TD on 23 carries against the Panthers, as the Broncos captured Superbowl L.
As of Monday afternoon, the Buccaneers have $9.3 million under the cap to spend. They will have to wait for Anderson to clear waivers tomorrow to not be on the hook for the $4.5 million, but other teams will also likely be bidding for Anderson Tuesday, too.
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