The Carolina Panthers have signed former Denver Broncos running back CJ Anderson after he was released by John Elway’s entourage not long before the 2018 NFL Draft.

CJ Left Denver after being cut to save $4.5 million worth of cap space even with 2 years remaining on his current deal. It was seen as that although CJ had his best career year it still wasn’t at the standard the Broncos required to take the pressure away from the quarterback play.

Anderson, a fan favourite in Denver stated after his release “For five years the Broncos treated me with nothing but utmost respect and were super loyal to me. That daily loyalty has finally run out. I’m excited for the next chapter in my career, where that may be.

CJ Anderson signs with Carolina Panthers
CJ signs with Carolina
NFL Network’s top insider Ian Rapoport had reported several times that the Broncos were shopping CJ Anderson in order to recoup some value. It was rumoured a deal involving the Miami Dolphins and Ja’wuan James back in March, however, Adam Gase opted for free agent veteran Frank Gore, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts.

 

The Broncos will now move forward with coach favourite Devontae Booker, fan favourite DeAngelo Henderson and Oregon wrecking ball ‘Rolls’ Royce Freeman. The Panthers, on the other hand, have replaced Stewart with more production and Christian McCaffery get’s a fantastic mentor to help his development as a runner.

CJ Anderson’s career has been a rollercoaster

The 27-year-old blocking machine has had an up and down few years since signing with Denver as an UDFA. He earned Pro Bowl honours in 2014 and was a key part of the 2015 Superbowl winning team, ironically defeating the Panthers in SB50.

CJ Anderson Scores against Carolina in SB50
CJ Scores against Carolina in SB50

As a Bronco, we’ll never forget the overtime touchdown vs the New England Patriots or his tenaciously infectious attitude which won over the hearts of so many of Broncos Country.

Unfortunately, Superbowl touchdown aside, CJ failed to nail down a complete starting role and barely managed to hit 1,000 yards last year for the first time in his career (total 1,007 rushing and 224 receiving).

For Carolina fans, this should be seen as a positive signing. CJ set career bests in 2 categories last year;

  • He played all 16 games for the first time in his career
  • He ran for over 1,000 yards

In an ideal world, CJ’s rise continues next season and his production helps a side that really could do with more depth in the backfield.

unfortunately for CJ, C-Mac is the starting back for the Panthers, however, is a solid contributor with proven playoff credentials that will improve Cam Newton’s offence in both the passing and rushing game.

Is he still an every down back? I wouldn’t count on it, although he might not be an every-down option, he should have plenty of opportunities in 2018.