The Denver Broncos as of today have a lot of questions to be answered in one of the most important positions heading into 2013: running back.
With Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno coming off injury, and Ronnie Hillman not considered an every down back, the Broncos today signed Lance Ball to his $1.323M tender for 2013. Ball was a restricted free agent and it is safe to say that there were not many teams banging on his door for his services.
Ball rushed 42 times for 158 yards and one touchdown as he pulled up the back end of the Broncos rotation. He is an undrafted free agent out of Maryland that has been on the Broncos active roster since 2010. The money for Ball is only guaranteed if he makes the roster out of camp.
Executive vice president of football operations John Elway will have to seriously decide which route to take when trying to complement QB Peyton Manning with a durable running back group if they want to contend for a championship. We all remember how it was through the eighties when backs like Bobby Humphreys and Steve Sewell were barely average runners who could not balance the offense.
Rumors have it that the Broncos are interested in ex-New York Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who is also injury-prone, and they have their sights set on a couple of backs in the upcoming NFL Draft. While it may be imperative to add Ball on the roster throughout offseason activities, it may not be that far-fetched for him to have to go elsewhere for work in 2013.
Ball will never be better than a third or fourth option in case of injury, and the Broncos would be better served in getting a player like Montee Ball or Le’Veon Bell in the draft to compliment Hillman and either McGahee or Moreno.
In three weeks, we will understand just what is in the mind of Elway as he calls his picks through the draft. Until then, understand that Ball is definitely not the answer to the many questions that surround the Broncos running back situation.