4 free agent running backs with ties to Broncos coaching staff

Sayre Bedinger
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The Denver Broncos could be in the market for running backs throughout the 2023 offseason. Many fans (understandably) would love to see Latavius Murray back for the 2023 season after he came to the Broncos last year and played really well after Javonte Williams' injury and Melvin Gordon's struggles. Murray returning does make a ton of sense, but there are also a number of other free agent running backs that could draw the interest of the Broncos.

This year's free agent running back class is very good. From the top to the bottom, there are big-name players and who knows where the NFL is going to value these guys? There was a time in the not-so-distant past that guys like Le'Veon Bell were getting $13 million per year. DeMarco Murray got himself $8 million per year in 2015 from the Eagles.

It's kind of crazy how diminished the value of the running back in today's NFL has become where the franchise tag is just over $10 million and it seems like teams barely want to pay that. Running backs certainly have a shelf life, and you almost can't safely do anything except make short-term deals.

With the recent hirings the Broncos have made of passing game coordinator John Morton and running backs coach Lou Ayeni, some notable free agent running backs could be on Denver's radar.

Free agent running backs with ties to the Denver Broncos coaching staff

1. Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions

Jamaal Williams is one of the most likable dudes in the NFL today. The former Green Bay Packer turned Detroit Lion was sensational in 2022, scoring a league-leading 17 touchdowns and helping the Detroit Lions rank 4th in the entire NFL in red zone offense.

Williams has historically been a solid tandem running back and you can probably take it to the bank that Sean Payton's offense in Denver will not include one running back carrying the entire load. Williams is going to be 28 this season, so he's not exactly "old" but talking running backs, he's definitely getting up there.

He had his first 1,000-yard campaign in 2022, and his value to the Detroit offense was obvious. He didn't play a big role in the passing game, however, so it stands to reason that he may not be as likely to follow someone like John Morton -- an assistant in Detroit this past season -- to Denver. The Broncos may more likely go after someone who will be more involved as a receiver.