No one in the NFL ever expresses regret for decisions made or not made. Still, when Broncos G.M. John Elway says he doesn’t regret using a higher restricted free agency tender on running back C.J. Anderson, Elway has a point.
“We’re glad we got him tied up for four years,” Elway told reporters on Tuesday after the Broncos matched the $18 million offer sheet Anderson signed last week in Miami. “We found out what his market value was. Obviously, he’d been with [Dolphins coach Adam] Gase here, and so Gase had an interest in him. Miami as well as Chicago showed interest. Overall, when we look at the package, we think it’s a very fair package for what he’s going to do.”
Regardless of what Anderson is going to do, Elway expects the one-time undrafted free agent to do plenty.
“Anytime that they step up when they come off a rookie contract like he is and they step up, they’re getting paid the money and C.J.’s contract, what he’s getting paid in his contract, the expectations always go up,” Elway said. “That’s what I told C.J. ‘You know what? The expectations of you as a leader as well as somebody that is a part of this organization — all those expectations go up.’ With the rise in pay also goes the rise in expectations, and I think C.J. understands that and he’s ready to handle that.”
The contract cries out that Anderson will become the lead dog, but there’s still a chance that Ronnie Hillman will return.
“Ronnie is obviously testing the market,” Elway said. “Again, that’s a fluid situation. Things are starting to calm down a little bit with where we are in free agency. Obviously we’re always concerned with where we are as far as the numbers if you understand the compensatory picks situation of where we are there, too. Again, it remains to be fluid. We’re continuing to study everybody out there. As opportunities or different players that we believe that can help us come about, then we’ll go in that direction.”
Thanks to Anderson going in the direction of Miami, Anderson is back where he started. With a contract suggesting he’ll have every chance to be the starter.