While the Denver Broncos continue to spend money on free agents, they went ahead and spent more money on the offensive side of the ball.
According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Broncos have agreed to terms with former Cincinnati Bengals running back Samaje Perine on a two-year deal. The contract is worth $7.5 million with another $1 million in incentives.
Last season, Perine rushed for 394 yards averaging 4.1 yards per carry adding two rushing touchdowns. The former fourth-round pick also played a solid role in the Bengals’ passing game last season.
Catching a career high 38 passes for 287 yards, Perine found himself catching four touchdowns which would’ve ranked second on the entire Broncos receiving core last year.
During his six-year career, Perine’s best season came as a rookie with Washington where he was given a career high 175 carries and rushed for 603 yards, but scored just one touchdown on the ground.
In 2020, Perine was claimed off waivers by the Bengals and then signed a two-year deal with Cincinnati in 2021 to backup standout running back Joe Mixon.
Perine has appeared in 16 games in each of the past three seasons.
What Does This Mean For Denver’s RB Room?
As the Broncos prepare for the return from their star running back Javonte Williams, after suffering a serious knee injury last season, Denver will be looking to add some depth to the running back position.
When it comes to a timetable for Williams, general manager George Paton had some positive news about Denver’s top running back.
“I think he’s on track,” Paton said. “I don’t want to put a date on it, but he’s out there jogging. He’s working his butt off, he’s rehabbing. Javonte, they anticipate he would be ready for the start of the season.”
It’s unclear if this could mean the end of the Broncos re-signing their leading rusher from last season in Latavius Murray after he rushed for 703 yards and five touchdowns over the final 12 games of the season.
According to Mike Klis of 9News, the Broncos are still expected to add another speed running back that could come late in the NFL Draft.
Broncos head coach Sean Payton will also need a receiving running back that can catch passes out of the backfield.
In his 15 years running the offense for the Saints, Payton’s running backs averaged 64.7 receptions per year along with 515.3 yards receiving on the season.
There were eight seasons in New Orleans in which a Saints running back caught more than 70 passes in a single season and six years where a running back went for more than 80 receptions under Payton.
Russell Wilson Needs a Rushing Attack to be Successful
In his first season as quarterback of the Broncos, Russell Wilson had one of the worst seasons of his career.
Wilson had career lows in completion percentage, total QBR, yards per drop back, and touchdown-interception ratio.
When talking to ESPN’s morning radio show, “Keyshawn, JayWill, and Max,” Broncos head coach Sean Payton broke down the formula to fixing Wilson in the upcoming season.
“Two allies for quarterback play, a good defense, and a good running game. It takes the pressure off.”
Payton continued explaining that on offense you must keep the defense off balance.
“If we looked at their Seattle formula, they played good defense. The running game wasn’t always as good year to year, but they were committed to the running game with him and then you got all of the movement throws, you got all of the things he did.”
Last season, Denver finished 21st in rushing yards per game with 113.8.
With Williams out, this forced the Broncos to lean on Murray, Melvin Gordon, Marlon Mack, and Edmonds for the remainder of the season.