The Denver Broncos will be hoping that Javonte Williams is ready to roll after tearing his ACL and missing most of the 2022 season. He will be entering his third year in the league and it will be an important one for him.
The team then signed Samaje Perine in free agency and while he can be a solid complementary back who will be a key on certain downs and distances, he's never been a featured back and if Williams isn't ready to take on a major load, the team could be asking a lot of him.
Beyond Williams and Perine, the rest of the running backs on the depth chart have a career total of 179 yards rushing (all by Tony Jones). In recent weeks, the Broncos hhave let go of three running backs, Tyreik McAllister, Jacques Patrick and Damarea Crockett. If nothing else, those players could have been used to take some reps in training camp and preseason games.
Instead, the Broncos are pushing forward with the five running backs they have but many don't feel that is enough, including ESPN writer Field Yates.
Yates suggests that the one move the Broncos still need to make before the season starts is to add another running back. There are still some big names available at that spot and I am going to talk about three of those without mentioning either Dalvin Cook or Ezekiel Elliott.
Free-agent running backs for Broncos to consider: Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt is one of the big names that is still out there and there is no doubt he is waiting for the right situation and the right amount of money. But in a league that no longer pays a premium price to the running back position, he may have to set his sights a bit lower.
Hunt has been a controversial figure ever since he was jettisoned out of Kansas City following an ugly off-field domestic incident. But he rebounded from that with four solid seasons with the Cleveland Browns where he combined with Nick Chubb to form one of the best backfield duos in the league.
Hunt will turn 28 years old in August so he should still have some tread on the tires. He can do what a Sean Payton-led offense would need him to do as he is a terrific receiver out of the backfield. He is also a versatile runner who could take more pressure off of Williams.
It wouldn't make a lot of sense to bring in Hunt after already signing Perine unless there is a concern about how soon Williams will be ready and how close to 100 percent he is. But if there are real questions there, it wouldn't hurt anything to bring Hunt in on a one-year deal.