Restricted free agent running back Lance Ball, who has been a part of the Denver Broncos‘ offense for the last three years, decided to sign a tender for $1.323 million to stay with the team in 2013.
Ball is a 28-year-old, five-year veteran who was undrafted out of Maryland in 2008. The St. Louis Rams took a chance on him before he played for several different practice squads and in 2009, the Broncos grabbed him and he made the active roster.
Ball played for $540,000 last season and does not receive the $1.323 million salary unless he makes the team’s season opening roster in 2013. Will he end up making the cut? I’m going to say that he will.
Here’s the deal:
The Broncos’ depth chart last season consisted of Willis McGahee, Knowshon Moreno, Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball, Mario Fannin and Jeremiah Johnson at running back. Fannin and Johnson did not record a single carry so if a rookie is drafted I could only seeing him taking one of these guys’ roster spots. If the Broncos decide to downsize to one less running back since fullback Jacob Hester showed he is a viable running threat then only in that case would Ball be in serious danger of maybe losing a spot to either Johnson or Fannin.
These guys are all professionals and will be battling for a spot year in and year out so there is always a chance one of them will lose his roster spot. It is also a business so if the Broncos can save money by going with a back that is a little less productive as Ball then they may do it.
The 2013 NFL Draft and offseason workouts are just around the corner so stay tuned to see what happens with the Broncos’ backfield.