Denver Broncos: Phillip Lindsay was one of team’s best ‘feel good’ stories ever
The Denver Broncos and running back Phillip Lindsay have mutually agreed to part ways.
Though fans of the team have expressed their displeasure with this decision everywhere that they can, the team ended up doing right by Lindsay on Thursday when they removed the tender that had been placed on him, allowing him to sign wherever he would like.
With that tender in place, teams likely would have been discouraged from making an offer for Lindsay, assuming the Broncos would just match it.
It is still not a popular move inside Broncos Country and likely never will be. However, the NFL is a business first at the end of the day. When the team came to an agreement with former Minnesota Vikings running back Mike Boone, the writing was on the wall.
But fans should make no apologies for being huge supporters of Lindsay. He was an easy guy to like.
Born in Denver, Lindsay attended South High School before heading to Boulder and starring for the Colorado Buffaloes. There, he ranks third on the school’s all-time rushing list.
Still, he was overlooked by virtually every team coming to the professional level. He was not even invited to the scouting combine and went undrafted. The Broncos were able to sign him as an undrafted free agent but he wasn’t given good odds to make the roster.
Not only did he make the team, but he was also tremendous as a rookie. He ran for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns that year and was selected to the Pro Bowl. He followed that up with an equally impressive 2019 season where he rushed for 1,011 yards.
With that feat, he became the first running back in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons after going undrafted.
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But with new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur came a completely different scheme in 2020. An early-season injury didn’t help Lindsay’s cause and he soon fell out of favor. The team had also signed Melvin Gordon, a move Lindsay seemed to be openly irritated about.
Though the end of Lindsay’s tenure in Denver will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many fans, his run with the team should be fondly remembered. He did things that no one has done before and though he was small in stature, seemed to always provide a spark.
It was a head-scratching move to sign Gordon. That Shurmur couldn’t find a good role for him in the offense will always be a bit annoying as well. But rather than dwelling on that, fans should be hopeful for Lindsay’s future, even if it’s not in an orange and blue jersey.
A hometown kid made the Broncos roster, made the Pro Bowl and set NFL records. That’s not too bad. All good things come to an end and though this ended prematurely in the minds of most, Lindsay should be remembered for being one of the best stories in Broncos history.
Here’s a Mile High Salute for ya, Phillip!