NFL AM: Broncos Hold Onto C.J. Anderson


Broncos match Dolphins offer to retain C.J. Anderson:

It’s been a rough offseason for the Denver Broncos since winning Super Bowl 50. Gone are stud defensive lineman Malik Jackson, linebacker Danny Trevathan, and of course both Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler.

It seemed, and was even reported that the Broncos wouldn’t be matching the contract offered to tailback C.J. Anderson, and that the back would be headed to the Miami Dolphins who signed the back to a four-year $18 million qualifying contract.

Tuesday afternoon, Anderson took to Twitter to announce he’d be back with Denver for four more years.

“I will be apart of the Broncos for 4 more years blessed to be apart of this wonderful Organization and super blessed for this opp 32-254-22”

The Broncos had five days to match the qualifying offer from Miami, and seemingly took almost every last minute of their time to make the decision to retain the once undrafted tailback.

General manager John Elway also announced the move on Twitter, something he hasn’t been able to do much this offseason.

“Just got off the phone with C.J. and let him know we’re excited to match the offer sheet,” Elway said. “We have high expectations for C.J. and are glad he’s back!”

The expectations will be high for Anderson, and his presence will be much more critical for a team that isn’t sure who their quarterback will be when the season opens in September. The Broncos are going to have to rely heavily on their running game and strong defense, because regardless of who’s under center, there’s little chance it’s someone they believe in as much as Manning or Osweiler.

The most puzzling part of the equation was why Anderson signed the offer sheet with Miami to begin with. The Broncos back told NFL Network Tuesday night that Denver had suggested to him that they would match whatever offer he signed. While the desire to once again play with former offensive coordinator, and now Dolphins’ head coach Adam Gase, if you know the Broncos are going to match any offer, why not sign the biggest one?

“It wasn’t about the money,” Anderson said. “If it was about the money I would’ve chose Chicago, because they offered more.”

While the Broncos’ back suggests he knew the team would match any offer he signed, his reluctance to sign the bigger offer sheet from Chicago suggests that maybe he wasn’t as sure as he wants us to believe.

Regardless, the Broncos have a major part of their offense back in the fold, and that’s a good thing, especially right now while they have absolutely no idea who their next signal caller will be.

Jaguars sign tackle Kelvin Beachum:

The Jacksonville Jaguars impressive offseason continued Tuesday when the team reached a deal with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum.  After playing at right tackle his rookie year, the former Steelers draft pick moved to the left side and developed into one of the stronger young left tackles in the game before going down with a torn ACL six games into last season.

The Jaguars could decide to work Beachum at right tackle until they’re sure he’s all the way back from an ACL injury that often takes players two years to fully recover from. While Adrian Peterson famously came back from his torn ACL to once again set the league on fire, many players find it’s the second year back from the injury where they begin to feel right on the field, and begin to perform the way they had prior to getting hurt.

If Jacksonville feels Beachum is right back to where he needs to be, they could start him on the left side, and move former first-round pick Luke Joeckel inside.

Beachum’s NFL story is a great one, and an example for young players who will be drafted late in April’s NFL Draft. If healthy, the former seventh-round pick of the 2012 NFL Draft may supplant a former second-overall selection at one of the league’s premiere positions.

Beachum and his new deal are living proof that it doesn’t matter much how you get to the NFL, it’s what you do with the opportunity when you get there. While many seventh-round picks don’t even make the team that drafts them, and many more never play a regular season NFL down, the new Jaguars tackle turned his opportunity into a second contract. A contract that would have been much larger if not for the torn ACL he suffered last season.

Junior Galette and Mike Wallace ink new deals:

The first couple days of free agency is all about the can’t miss guys. Well, at least it’s about the guys that teams feel are can’t miss guys. After those big deals are made teams start dipping into the second tier of NFL free agents.

After the second wave of free agency the deals start to trickle in, and teams start to take chances on some of the guys they aren’t quite as sure about. This is the time of year when even knuckleheads like Junior Galette and Mike Wallace start getting opportunities. Whether it’s wildly swinging your belt at men and women on a beach during a fight, or just not knowing when to keep your mouth shut, Galette and Wallace come with immense talent, but plenty of baggage.

Galette signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins, where he signed a year ago after being let go by the New Orleans Saints following a 10-sack season because of his disciplinary issue.

The defensive end was suspended two games last season, and served his suspension while spending the year on injured reserve with an Achilles injury. The suspension came from an incident where he got into a fight, on a beach where he began swinging his belt at everyone in his vicinity, including women. While this doesn’t quite reach the level of domestic abuse, it’s certainly an indicator of some pretty poor decision making.

Wallace found himself a new team on Tuesday, inking a two-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens before reminding us that he likes to say stupid stuff. The receiver once thought to be on the verge of stardom has above average speed, but never became an above average receiver despite being paid like an absolute superstar by Miami.

Tuesday the former Vikings, Dolphins and Steelers receiver said he needed to go to Baltimore to link up with a good quarterback.

“When this process started, I knew I wasn’t going back to Minnesota,” Wallace said. “I was like, ‘I need a good quarterback. I need a quarterback who I know is proven, who can get things done,’ and Flacco, he’s always been that guy. I always loved his deep ball, always, ever since, like I said, I was in Pittsburgh watching Torrey catching them. I was like, ‘Man, this guy gets like eight of them in a row.’ I need some of that.

“This is going to be fun. It’s going to be a great opportunity just to revive and get back to where I want to be at and the type of player I know I can be. I feel like I can maximize my potential here.”

Unfortunately for Wallace, there are more teams in the NFL who would rather have Teddy Bridgewater in their organization than the speedster.

Wallace will likely once again prove that he’s an average receiver, who runs average routes, and gives average effort with his above average speed. Then maybe he’ll throw Joe Flacco under the bus on his way out the door after he figures out that it’s all the quarterbacks fault that he never lived up to his full potential, again.

About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.