Free agent running back Latavius Murray isn’t likely coming back to the Denver Broncos — with Sean Payton saying “we’ll see” when asked about the 33-year-old during the annual owners meeting on March 27 — and if/when he does get another look, he’ll end up being a “last-minute, veteran-minimum type” target for teams according to Mile High Huddle’s Chad Jensen.
“Time will tell whether the Broncos ultimately bring Murray back, but at 33 years old, he’s likely moved into the realm of the last-minute, veteran-minimum type backs who populate the NFL fringes,” Jensen wrote.
According to Jensen, reuniting Murray with Payton was a no-brainer. “Broncos head coach Sean Payton has a relationship with Murray from the pair’s time together in New Orleans. Murray rejoining the Broncos, when the offseason first began, seemed like a no-brainer, and yet, he still languishes on the open market,” the Mile High Huddle writer said.
Jensen projects Murray will be available after the NFL draft, which takes place at the end of April from the 27-29.
“While he seemed to showcase an upside beyond (a last-minute, veteran-minimum type) for Denver last year, the Broncos recognize that while he’s available right now, he’ll likely also be around a month or two from now after the dust from the offseason settles,” Jensen wrote.
Sean Payton on Broncos Signing RB Samaje Perine
Payton was high on the addition of Samaje Perine, Murray’s potential replacement in the Broncos running back room, forecasting the versatile multi-level backfield threat wearing many hats in Denver’s offense.
“I see position flex,” Payton said during the annual owners meeting. “If you really watch Perine and study the tape, you see him on early downs, and you see him playing third down. He’s a really good receiver. Obviously, he could block the blitz. He’s big, he’s physical, he’s smart, he’s tough. He’s built to last. That was an important piece for us knowing the injury that we’re dealing with. He was really important.”
Samaje Perine ‘Not the Sexiest Signing’ for the Broncos
The Mile High Report’s Scotty Payne acknowledged that Perine was “not the sexiest signing” for a Broncos franchise that made it clear during free agency that Javonte Williams is still in the running to be the lead back in the running back room given the lack of a flashy signing.
“This is not the sexiest signing, but he is a solid number two back who can help out the team in many ways,” Perine said. “If the Broncos signed a starting caliber running back, it would be a sign that they are not expecting Williams to be ready,” Payne prefaced before saying, “However, adding a solid number two back could be an encouraging sign for his prognosis moving forward, but only time will tell there.”
Payne, though, did predict Murray would return in free agency before Payton’s latest comments during the annual owners meeting.
“Veteran Latavius Murray also seems like a lock to return and he lead the Broncos backfield last season and looked effective while doing it,” Payne wrote.