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Do Colts Have Interest In C.J. Anderson Following Release from Broncos?

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Denver Broncos v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It seems as if every time someone gets their release from another team, Indianapolis Colts fans want to know “should we should go after____?”. This isn’t just with Colts fans, rather it’s a common occurrence with every fan base.

Earlier in the day another high-level talent was released and here we are asking the same question all over again. Running back C.J. Anderson was released by the Denver Broncos, reportedly after failed attempts at trading him.

For Colts’ fans, this time we’re asking the question for legitimate reasons — less “Should the Colts be interested” and more of “are the Colts truly interested.” In mid-March local radio host JMV mentioned that there were some whispers of trade talks between the Colts and Broncos. Furthermore, just a couple weeks ago, multiple platforms had the Colts as one of the best fits for Anderson’s services.

None of this is actually concrete, but to ask if the Colts have interest seems obvious at least in some capacity.

To look at this as a possibility for the Colts backfield should make fans hopeful that Chris Ballard might pull the trigger and offer Anderson a contract. He’s 27 years old, and will be through the entirety of the 2018 season, he cleared 1,000 yards for the first time last year and though his per carry average (4.1 YPC) wasn’t among his best, he’d never had anywhere near the workload he was given in 2017 (245 carries).

Anderson has remained a formidable option on all three downs and is a solid pass protector, and pass catcher (40 targets in 2017) which ultimately makes him a perfect fit for what the Colts want in their backfield next to Marlon Mack. The Colts have Matt Jones, Josh Ferguson, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael and George Winn to pick from right now, and with a possible addition of Anderson and a draft pick the Colts could vastly improve the position by signing Anderson.

He isn’t going to draw a massive contract, and should Ballard pull the trigger we could expect it to be front-loaded to keep any guarantees off the books after the first year of the deal. Anderson would have cost the Broncos $4.5 million for the upcoming season, and was the annual average of his most recent contract.

If the Colts can get him for a bit cheaper than that, and have his presence in the backfield while Mack develops, I think you’ve got to see that as a win for the Colts at this point in free agency. Considering that the Colts have roughly $60 million in cap space, getting a proven talent like Anderson and possibly having to ‘overpay’ him a touch to get him should be pretty easy if Ballard has that level of interest.

The Colts backfield could realistically take a massive jump in a very short time, with very little effort by training camp.