Free agent running back Knowshon Moreno is eyeing an NFL return and would like to sign with with either the Broncos or Dolphins, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. Moreno spent the first five seasons of his career in Denver before inking a free agent contract with the Dolphins in 2014. After suiting up for just three games with the Dolphins, Moreno suffered a season-ending ACL tear – the second torn ACL of his career – and sat out the 2015 campaign to enable his ailing knees to heal. Moreno insists he’s healthy now, though.
“I plan on coming back,” he told TMZ. “I feel good. I feel healthy. I’m fully recovered. So I’m just doing the things I have to right now, just staying in shape and seeing where that goes.”
While the soon-to-be 29-year-old is interested in another go-around with the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos, who took him in the first round of the 2009 draft, it’s unknown if the feeling is mutual. As noted by Jhabvala, the Broncos re-signed rushers C.J. Anderson (four-year deal) and Ronnie Hillman (one-year contract) earlier in the offseason, and Kapri Bibbs, Juwan Thompson and fourth-round rookie Devontae Booker round out their depth chart.
The Dolphins also have a crowded backfield, but after striking out on trying to land high-profile options (Anderson included) earlier in the offseason, they lack an established No. 1 rusher. As of now, second-year man Jay Ajayi looks poised to serve as their go-to ball carrier. Ajayi racked up just 187 yards on 49 carries as a rookie, however, and his production tailed off significantly after a strong two-game showing to begin his career. Miami did invest a third-rounder in Alabama’s Kenyan Drake, though, and Daniel Thomas and Isaiah Pead are among its veteran choices. Moreno has enjoyed a better career than both, and the ex-Georgia Bulldog says he has plenty more to offer.
“I still have a lot in the tank. Probably too much in the tank. I need to let it out. I’m really excited to get back. I just want to get back to a team atmosphere, helping a team and, most of all, just competing,” he told TMZ.
During the first six years of his career, Moreno missed 33 of a possible 96 regular-season games, but he did fare well when healthy. In Moreno’s most productive season, 2013, he amassed 1,038 yards on 241 carries (4.3 YPC, the same as his career mark), chipped in an impressive 60 catches and added 13 touchdowns (10 rushing, three receiving). Cumulatively, Moreno has rushed for 3,616 yards, hauled in 158 passes and piled up 36 scores (27 rushing, nine receiving).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.