Denver Broncos plans for surprise trade deadline pickup at running back

Denver Broncos, Chase Edmonds (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos, Chase Edmonds (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Seeing the Denver Broncos actually move Bradley Chubb at the 2022 NFL trade deadline wasn’t overly surprising. In fact, with a first-round pick reportedly on the table for days before the trade actually came together, it would have been more surprising if the Broncos had held onto Chubb than anything else. What was rather surprising, in the end, was the fact that the Denver Broncos got a player coming back in the Chubb trade…at the running back position. That player, as we all now know, is running back Chase Edmonds, a free agent signing for the Dolphins this year who hasn’t exactly panned out as expected.

The Dolphins presumptively signed Edmonds to be their featured back after he played second-fiddle in Arizona with the Cardinals for the last handful of years. Edmonds was seemingly a misfit for the Dolphins, averaging under three yards per carry and really having an inconsistent snap count week-to-week.

In other words, anything but RB1 in Miami, who traded a pick to get Jeff Wilson from the 49ers at the deadline.

Chase Edmonds could have a substantial role with the Denver Broncos

Although he struggled to find his footing as a member of the Miami Dolphins, Edmonds should find himself with a pretty prominent role in Denver. Perhaps we won’t see him carry the ball 20-plus times in a game this season, but he will immediately have a role as a receiver on third down, though he will have to clean up an issue with drops that have plagued him this year (four drops with Miami).

Despite some of his struggles, Edmonds already has three total touchdowns this season and is on pace for his best season ever as a receiver in terms of yards per reception. Edmonds joins a running back stable featuring Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray, which has honestly been missing something in the passing game.

Although he’s not blazing fast, Edmonds is quick and elusive in the open field, and he’s been able to consistently make plays as a receiver throughout his career. He had 96 receptions in his final two seasons with the Cardinals, and you can bet the Broncos will find ways to get him snaps even with the presence of guys like Murray and Gordon on the roster.

Oh and don’t forget, the Broncos have Marlon Mack as well.

Perhaps the biggest factor in the Broncos getting back Chase Edmonds in this trade with the Dolphins is his contract. Yes, the Dolphins needed to clear some space in order to fit Chubb under the salary cap, but they did that anyway by restructuring the contract of one of their linebackers. The Edmonds contract is significant from the Broncos’ perspective because it gives them a back under contract in 2023 not named Javonte Williams.

Gordon, Murray, Mike Boone, Marlon Mack…they are all on the expiring (or only) year of their respective contracts right now. Edmonds signed a very team-friendly two-year deal with the Dolphins in free agency that the Broncos now inherit, at least the base salaries and roster bonus.

Chase Edmonds contract details for Denver Broncos

Per Spotrac:

  • 2022: $1.111 million base salary (remaining weeks of 2022 season)
  • 2023: $6 million cap hit

The Broncos have Edmonds under contract for the 2023 season if they want him, with zero dead money if they don’t. Considering the severity of Javonte Williams’ knee injury, having an experienced three-down back like Edmonds already in the fold can put the Broncos’ minds at ease heading into the 2023 offseason.

So, the role of Edmonds in 2022 may be undefined, but he could (and should) end up playing a significant role in both 2022 and 2023.