The Denver Broncos could have a different offensive look next season coming off their first trip to the Super Bowl since the 1998 season. Not only is there the possibility that Peyton Manning may retire after the game, but it sounds increasingly likely that running back Knowshon Moreno will not be back with the team next season.
Moreno was drafted by the Broncos in 2009 as a first-round pick and was considered a disappointment. He dealt with multiple injuries, was demoted, and Denver even drafted Montee Ball highly last year with hopes that he would become the team’s feature back. But Moreno finally put it together, stayed healthy and had the best season of his career this season. He rushed for 1,039 yards and 10 touchdowns and caught 60 passes for 548 yards and three touchdowns. Moreno played so well this season that he put himself in position to earn a lot of money in the offseason as a free agent.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported during the week leading up to the Super Bowl that the Broncos don’t expect to be able to re-sign Moreno in the offseason because he’ll be a free agent and figures to make more money elsewhere. The reasoning is sound, but will it be wise for a team to sign Moreno?
Until playing with Manning, Moreno hadn’t done much. Part of that is because he didn’t have great offensive teammates around him, and part of that is because he was always banged up. But when you have defenses spread out and worried about Peyton Manning, things become a lot easier for the running back. That’s a big reason why Moreno accumulated so many yards and touchdowns this season.
I wouldn’t expect Knowshon to repeat his success elsewhere because he won’t be on an record-breaking offense, but I think he’ll do OK. Would I pay him big money? Not a chance. But you figure some team will, which is why this will likely be his last game with the Broncos.