The Dolphins dangled right tackle Ja’Wuan James in trades before pulling back and seeing his fifth-year option vest. During one of those in discussions, the Broncos reportedly offered a familiar name to Dolphins brass.
Troy Renck of Denver7 reports the Broncos and Dolphins had a verbal agreement on a C.J. Anderson-for-James trade, but Miami nixed the deal. This would be an interesting exchange considering the Dolphins designed Anderson’s contract by creating a four-year, $18MM offer sheet the Broncos matched in 2016. Miami was reportedly interested in Anderson if Denver made him a free agent.
Two years and no guaranteed money remain on Anderson’s deal, and the sixth-year player has manageable $4.5MM cap numbers the next two seasons. Adam Gase and Eric Studesville coached Anderson in Denver, with Studesville now Miami’s running backs coach after a long run with the Broncos. Denver determined in March it wasn’t going to release its longtime starter, but it may still be open for business on an Anderson deal. Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson are the Broncos’ other backs.
The Broncos landed another right tackle via trade when they acquired Jared Veldheer from the Cardinals for a sixth-round pick. As of now, Veldheer has one year and $6.9MM left on his deal. James will make $9.341MM on the Year 5 option this season and has fared much better than Veldheer at right tackle, although each has struggled with injuries in recent years.
James, 25, has started for four seasons with the Dolphins, while the Broncos have had a different right tackle starter in Week 1 in each of the past five seasons. Veldheer may well extend that streak to six. The Dolphins moved to add Frank Gore at a cheaper rate — $1.1MM — and he will join Kenyan Drake in their backfield.
The Broncos’ primary ball-carrier since the 2014 season, Anderson is coming off his first 1,000-yard campaign. The 26-year-old running back successfully bounced back from a meniscus tear by playing 16 games last season. Renck writes a trade could still occur and wonders if the Broncos would augment their backfield through the draft in that event. Denver brought San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny in for a visit last week.
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