DAVIE—It’s an open secret that the Dolphins like former Broncos running back C.J. Anderson. It’s really not a secret at all, actually, since they tried to sign him two years ago.
Anderson, who played for Adam Gase in Denver in 2013 and ’14, agreed to an offer sheet with Miami as a restricted free agent, but the Broncos matched the four-year, $18 million deal and kept him.
Given his history with Gase, who was offensive coordinator when he made the Pro Bowl in 2014, he’s an obvious candidate for the Dolphins.
“We’ll certainly see what happens once we get after the draft with any free agents, and we’ll see where we are,” vice president Mike Tannenbaum said. “We’ve got to get through the draft here first. That’s the next opportunity and then we’ll look at other things once we get through that.”
Miami currently has Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore in line as its top two running backs. Drake is expected to be the starter and primary back, which is a landmark opportunity for him heading into his third season. Gore averaged nearly 1,000 yards per season the last three years, but turns 35 next month.
The other two running backs on the roster, Senorise Perry and Brandon Radcliff, have minimal experience. Perry has eight career carries, and Radcliff has never appeared in an NFL game.
Miami has the fifth-cheapest running back room in the league at just under $3.7 million in salary cap, according to Spotrac.
Whether the Dolphins pursue Anderson depends on the draft and his market value. If they select someone like Derrius Guice next week, there probably isn’t room on the roster for Anderson, nor enough of a role to entice him. Miami is also extremely tight on cap space until some of Ndamukong Suh’s money comes off the books in June.
Anderson isn’t at a point where he’s likely to take much of a discount just to reunite with Gase. He’s 27 years old and coming off a season in which he rushed for a career-high 1,007 yards to go with three touchdowns, plus 224 yards receiving. He’s made an estimated $10.7 million over his first five years.
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