The Denver Broncos have pulled the plug on former starter and 2nd round draft pick Montee Ball. Ball, who initially made the final roster on Saturday, was waived on Sunday to make room for a couple of other players that the Broncos had picked up.
The move leaves the Broncos with just Sylvester Williams and Kayvon Webster from their 2013 NFL Draft class, and only Williams is expected to start this year.
This move is a bit surprising considering the Broncos had decided to keep Ball on board as of Saturday, but it’s clear he was on the chopping block and despite attempts to trade him, they couldn’t get anything done. One of the teams vying for his services was the Dallas Cowboys, but they settled on a trade for Christine Michael, a former 2nd round pick of the Seattle Seahawks.
Ball will now be subject to waivers, and on the off chance he clears waivers, he can return to Denver on the practice squad. More than likely, some team will take a shot on him and give him another chance in the league. This move doesn’t signify the end of a career for Montee Ball, but it’s a very disappointing end to his tenure in Denver.
Selected in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin, Ball was fresh off of one of the most impressive collegiate careers any of us has seen from a running back. His 2011 season was absolutely stunning, one that should have ended with a Heisman Trophy in my opinion, but he couldn’t translate that to the NFL. His 2013 classmates are having great success elsewhere; Eddie Lacy is rolling with Green Bay and Le’Veon Bell is doing great (albeit suspended at the moment) in Pittsburgh.
However, the Broncos don’t need to hang their heads. C.J. Anderson has emerged from the UDFA pool in 2013, and looks like an absolute star at the RB spot. Ball’s inability to stay on the field in 2014 paved the way for ultimately what led to Anderson being on the field.
This move should put plenty of pressure on John Elway to really do some more digging on his high draft picks. He’s not been good since 2012 when he got Derek Wolfe and Brock Osweiler in the 2nd round, Ronnie Hillman in the 3rd. Osweiler is still pretty unknown at this point too, but the 2013 NFL draft looked like a complete waste other than two players.
It will be interesting to see if the Broncos bring in another back for the practice squad, or if Gary Kubiak feels fine about rolling with just three all year.