Correll Buckhalter will be let go by Broncos

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Correll Buckhalter’ two-year run in Denver appears to be over.

Josina Anderson of FOX31 in Denver reports the veteran running back has been informed of his release.  Anderson writes Buckhalter could possibly return at a lesser price.

Buckhalter had a career-high 882 yards from scrimmage at age 31 in 2009, but his production fell sharply last year. If this is it for Buckhalter, he’ll be remembered for overcoming a pair of devastating knee injuries after getting drafted in the fourth round by the Eagles in 2001.

The Broncos seem likely to invest big at running back.  They could go after a big name like DeAngelo Williams, and probably need to sign another decent veteran option to fill out the roster.

15 responses to “Correll Buckhalter will be let go by Broncos

  1. Tonight the Broncos signed Auburn RB Mario Fannin, who was an undrafted free agent. He’ll face a stiff test to make the team, but there aren’t many guys who are 230 pounds and can run a 4.38 40 yard dash like him.

  2. A sad day for a talented back. He was never superstar caliber, but made a very good third down back in my opinion when he was healthy. No doubt he will be picked up by someone for 2011, but he’s on the decline and fast. Knee injuries are brutal, especially for someone who makes his living stopping on a dime…or trying to.

  3. hope he finds a home, great guy, overall a under-rated talent career wise and a pretty amazing person with terrific work ethic/desire.

    Alot of people dont remember but Buck could have easily been the Eagles no.1 halfback for a long stretch and even kept a talent like Brian Westbrook at bay if not for freak injury after freak injury……….

    In college Buckhalter was a intrical part of a dominating Nabraska Cornhuskers squad, including the 12-1 1999 team and the 10-2 2000 squad as well. Buckhalter played in a total of 46 games in his college career. The vast majroity of those however he didnt start. The Cornhuskers deployed a two-back attack in that time, and 6’0″ 255 pound overpowering HB Dan Alexander started the majority of those, Buckhalter only officially started 9 games in college. Even as part of a HB duo Buck still managed to rack up over 2500 rushing yards and 27 rushing TDs in his career and cemented himself as the 8th rusher ALL TIME at a school known for prestigous college halfbacks. Buckhalter helped the Cornhuskers compete realistically for national championship in 1999 and 2001 and the Huskers went 30-7 in Bucks final 3 years……..although he had PLENTY of help. Eric Crouch (2001 Hesiman winner) was the main QB of that time. Their o-line was loaded with future NFL players at both guard spots in Toniu Fonoti and Ross Hotchstein. Dominic Raiola solidifed the Cornhuskers interior offensive line at center giving them the best LG-C-RG trio in the nation by far. On defense future pro bowler Kyle Vanden-Bosch attacked from his DE spot and across from him was future Buffalo Bill DE Chris Kelsey while Steve Warren ate up blockers at NT. Scott Shanle was the top linebacker but Carlos Polk and Eric Johnson may have given them the best trio in the nation. Mike and Ralph Brown held down the secondary, Mike Brown went on to become a pro bowl caliber safety in Chicago.

    Despite Dan Alexander getting more carries, more production and more awards it was Buckhalter who was picked in the 4th round of the 2001 NFL draft by the Eagles. While Alexander had to wait to round 6 to be picked as a intended NFL fullback. New Eagles head coach Andy Reid was looking for a compliment to starter Duce Staley and saw alot of potential in Buckhalter. Correll not only had very good agility, quickness, vision and recieving skills but at 6’0″ and 220 pounds he had the size and power to pound the ball and play roughshot when needed.

    As a rookie Buck quickly won the primary backup role to Duce Staley appearing in all but one game that season. Buck ended up accounting for 716 offensive yards (586 rushing, 130 receiving) 2 TDs, a total of 50 yards/game and a healthy 4.5 YPC average. That season Duce Staley missed 6 games and while he still acounted for 1230 offensive yards only 604 were rushing yards and his 3.6 YPC was far less impressive than the rookies. Buck also broke Keith Byars all time Eagles rookie rushing record and seemed to be headed for a longterm staring role in Philly.

    Heading into 2002 Buck had a legitimate chance of taking the starting role from Staley. That was never meant to be though as Buckhalter tore his ACL in his left knee, leading to him missing the entire 2002 season.

    In 2003 Buckhalter was back but Andy Reid’s inability to be able to rely on Buck or Duce (due to injury issues) partially led him to draft a shifty scat-back out of Villanova in the 4th round named Brian Westbrook in 2002. It was a three headed monster at HB in 2003, but veteran Staley was the least impressive of the trio. 2nd year pro Westbrook led the 3 in rushing yards (613), total yards (945) and total TDs (11) while Buckhalter proved he was fully recovered and also played a big role starting 5 games, rushing for 542 yards, another impressive 4.5 YPC average, a total of 675 offensive yards and 9 total TDs. Buck also led the Eagles in rushing TDs with 8 and rushing attempts with 126.

    Heading into 2004 Duce Staley jumped ship in free agency to Pittsburgh, leaving Buck and Westbrook to compete for the starting job. The consensus was that Westbrook was a more explosive threat but Buck was a bigger back, more well rounded and more capable of carrying a bigger load, the carries would have been split but likely Buckhalter would have started the vast majoirty of games.

    Again, however, it wasnt meant to be and Buckhalter missed all of 2004 due to a torn patellor tendon in his right knee. Now with two bad knees and serious injuries to both the rumors that his career might be over started floating around. Dorsey Levens was brought in to help Westbrook and in 2004 Westbrook emerged as one of the most electric dual threat HBs in the NFL and was a main reason the Eagles went 13-3 and made it to the Super Bowl.

    The rumors only grew of Buckhalters career ending early after the same Patellor Tendon injury in his right knee forced him to miss all of 2005—-as Westbrook further cemented his legacy, although the Eagles as a team fell apart.

    No one expected to see Buckhalter back in 2006, let alone able to play at a high level or even making the team. Against all odds Buckhalter appeared in the Eagles season opener and saw his first action since the 2003 NFC championship game. He then appeared in all 16 games, starting once and proving his relentless determination and desire recovering from 3 devastating knee injuries that sidelined him 3 of his first 5 years, any of which could have ended a less determined players career—specially at HB.

    The Eagles resigned Buck to two years after 2006 and he continued to stay healthy and provide depth at HB. From 2006-2008 Buckhalter accounted for 1,694 yards of offense, 11 TDs in only 5 starts.

    In 2008 he joined Denver seeking a bigger role, which he deserved but wasnt going to get in Philly. Correll started 7 games in Denver and rushed for 642 yards, the best single season total of his career, and ended the year with a ridiculous 5.4 YPC. In 2010 the 32 year old Buckhalter was playing second fiddle to 27 year old forer high first round pick Knowshon Moreno in a pass happy offense. Denver was the 26th ranked rushing teams in terms of yardage and would have finished much lower if not for Tim Tebows added yards from the QB position. Buckhalter only accounted for 147 yards rushing but in true buckhalter fashion he made his mark on the team any way possible: becoming a big asset as a pass blocking HB on 3rd downs and adding another 240 yards and 2 TDs receiving in Denvers pass heavy attack.

    Looking back Buckhalter was fought through more injuries than almost any HB ever in the league, and only seemed to get stronger. Hes a 33 year old HB, long past the expiration date for NFL runners and will without a doubt turn up again somewhere in 2011 and make his mark anyway he can, doing whatever he can to help his team win.

    When discussing Correll Buckhalter its impossible to not look back and consider what might have been. Had Buck not tore his ACL heading into his 2nd season, then missing all of 04 AND 05 to further knee injuries he could have easily been the Eagles top runner, not westbrook. Buck was posied to take the top spot from a 28 year old, pro bowler in his prime in Duce Staley in only his second season, and outplayed Staley by a big margin as a rusher even as a rookie. Without the knee injuries Buckhalter’s agility, explosion and change of direction ability would have been exponentially better, combine that with his great size, power, quickness, natural route running and hands, work ethic and pass blocking ability and Buckhalter easily could have and likely would have been a multiple pro bowl HB and the name Brian Westbrook would be much less known.

    He was that good, and the fact that he battled through 3 tragic knee injuries, returned to the field, earned a new contract and watched HBs with no injury issues rise and fall while he is still plugging along.

    good luck Buck!

  4. Mario Fannin is a good pick up. There is a decent amount of talent that went undrafted.

  5. Thanks eaglesdynasty for that um… informative report. Next time I’m having trouble sleeping I’ll have you give me the life story of Ron Jaworski.

  6. you are welcome, but you can go ahead and do your own reporting on Jaws….his sheets scare me, even in the comfort of my parents warm, damp basement.

  7. okiny says:
    Jul 26, 2011 7:11 AM
    Do you have Correll Buckhalter sheets on your bed in your parents basement?


    well, cocaine is a hell of a drug

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