Why RB Arian Foster makes sense for the Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are reportedly one of the teams who have reached out to veteran RB Arian Foster. Why adding him would make sense for this team…
Veteran running back Arian Foster is close to making a full recovery — or at least to being able to pass a physical — and signing with an NFL team. The Denver Broncos are reportedly among the small number of teams that have reached out…
And the timing of this is particular, because the same day and time this report surfaced, this one also came out…
The Broncos have spent some significant assets on the RB position this offseason, particularly in the form of a big contract extension for 2014 Pro Bowler C.J. Anderson as well as a smaller, one-year deal for Ronnie Hillman. They also used a fourth round pick on Utah’s Devontae Booker, a player they really like and one whom many felt could have gone as high as the second round.
You might wonder with all of those moves why the Broncos would pursue Foster, or why he would be a good fit for this team in the first place. I thought of a few…
1. The Obvious — his fit in the offense
Foster was most successful in the NFL in his earlier years with Gary Kubiak and the system the Broncos now employ. That doesn’t mean that re-inserting him into this system is going to make him the dominant runner he once was, but it can’t hurt to put him back in the offense he was ‘recruited’ to play coming out of college.
The zone scheme is perfect for a one-cut runner like Foster, and has proven such over the course of his career.
2. Ronnie Hillman’s contract
I don’t know that the Broncos would cut Ronnie Hillman to make room for a player like Foster, but his dead money is $500,000 if he is let go before the season begins. Otherwise, Hillman carries a $2 million cap hit this season, and the Broncos could eat the difference and perhaps pay it to Foster on a similar one-year deal.
I’m not going to say it would be an either-or proposition between Hillman and Foster — they could also work together in a stable — but just throwing this out there.
3. C.J. Anderson’s 2nd half production
C.J. Anderson was given a big, new contract to prove his capability as a lead back in this offense. That said, he has been one of the best second half runners in the league over the last two years, and has struggled some in the first half of the season.
Perhaps the Broncos could look at Foster as a guy who could come in and at least get a hot hand or provide them with a three-down player in case Anderson struggles to get things started this year.
4. My personal favorite option
The Broncos are just looking to load up on talented backs, and use them all together. I don’t understand why fans get so weird sometimes about how many backs the team chooses to keep on the roster, as if they have a markerboard at home keeping track of the number of carries each guy is getting on a week-to-week basis.
After having won the Super Bowl, the Broncos had to basically decimate their horrendous offense from a year ago and start fresh. This year, they will either be starting a really young quarterback or Mark Sanchez.
That’s not a scary proposition to me, but I think I’d like it even more if the quarterback we have has the option of handing off the ball to C.J. Anderson, Arian Foster, Devontae Booker, and Ronnie Hillman, wouldn’t you?
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The Broncos won’t sign Arian Foster unless it’s on a team-friendly, incentive-laden deal. He’s got to prove he can stay healthy to earn a contract, and if he’s not willing to do that and would rather take money from another team, then by all means…
But if the Broncos want to bring him in and include him among the group they currently have, I would definitely not say no to it.