The new NFL league year is rapidly approaching, which means the start of free agency is on the horizon. With less than 50 days until the legal tampering period and NFL draft, teams are preparing to re-configure their rosters for the coming season.
The Denver Broncos have a few issues they need to address, one of which is the running back position. The Broncos have decided not to re-sign Devontae Booker and Theo Riddick, leaving Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman as the lone backs on the Broncos depth chart.
Lindsay was stellar in his sophomore season, compiling over 1,000 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while splitting time with Freeman. While Lindsay has played like a top back the last few seasons, the Broncos are still open to splitting his time with another player.
Freeman struggled to make the most of his opportunities last season as he rushed for under 500 yards and scored just three touchdowns. At just 24 years old, Freeman will look to bounce back in 2020 but could be the Broncos No. 3 back to start the season, if he is still on the roster beyond training camp.
Freeman is built for the Broncos’ new offense led by coordinator Pat Shurmur. Shurmur runs a power gap offense, which focuses on power runs off the left tackle. Given Freeman’s strength and athleticism, he could thrive in Denver’s new system, which could help him cement a spot on the depth chart.
Denver will need to add at least one running back to their roster, and will probably draft one in the later rounds.
That said, Denver could be in the market for a veteran back on a cheap deal to compliment Lindsay. According to Broncos insider Benjamin Allbright, the Broncos could look to sign Jordan Howard if they could get him on a value contract.
The Broncos offense is one of the youngest in the NFL, and with a new coordinator running the show, it might be wise for the Broncos to bring in a veteran back to add some maturity to the mix.
The running back position is complex in the NFL today, given the amount of turnover from one year to the next. While the Broncos certainly have bigger fish to fry this offseason, running back is an area of need, especially with a fresh offensive scheme in the works.