DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Broncos have released running back C.J. Anderson, the NFL announced on Twitter Monday.
Anderson is coming off the best season statistically in his career. The veteran running back broke the 1,000 rushing yard mark for the first time against the Kansas City Chiefs in December.
This comes days before the NFL draft on April 26. The Broncos have the fifth pick overall.
In 2016, the Broncos matched an $18 million, four-year offer from the Miami Dolphins to keep Anderson, who was a restricted free agent and was tendered at the low level.
The move will free up $4.5 million in salary cap space for the Broncos.
Anderson started his career in Denver after the Broncos signed him as an undrafted rookie out of Cal.
He played in just five games during his rookie season, but leaped onto the scene in 2014 when he ran for 849 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also had his best year receiving in 2014 with 34 receptions for 324 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2015 CJ saw his numbers decline a bit starting just six games and rushing for 720 yards and five touchdowns.
After signing a 4-year 18 million dollar contract in March of 2106 Anderson spent much of the year dealing with a knee injury which limited his production and kept him on the sideline for more than half the season.
Anderson played in 7 games in 2016 and rushed for 437 yards and 4 touchdowns, his lowest output since his rookie season.
Last year CJ set career highs in games played, games started and broke the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career finishing the season with 1,007 yards. He was one of just nine players to rush for more than 1,000 yards last season.
The move leaves the Broncos with two running backs on the roster, 3rd year player Devontae Booker and 2nd year player DeAngelo Henderson.
In his rookie season of 2016 Booker rushed for 612 yards and 4 touchdowns, but saw his numbers decrease in 2017 thanks to a wrist injury suffered in preseason. He played in 13 games and finished last year with 79 carries for 299 yards and 1 touchdown.
Henderson didn’t see any meaningful playing time during his rookie season. Drafted in the 6th round out of Coastal Carolina he played in just five games and had seven carries for 13 yards.
He also added two receptions and a touchdown.