Analyst: Broncos Running Back Signing a ‘Fantastic’ Move

Getty Derek Brown of FantasyPros called the Broncos signing Samaje Perine a "fantastic" move -- noting he outplayed Joe Mixon on the Bengals

The Broncos signing of Samaje Perine on March 14 to a two-year, $7.5 million deal with $1 million in incentives was called a “fantastic move” by FantasyPros’ Derek Brown — who also said that Perine outplayed Bengals running back mate Joe Mixon throughout the 2022 season.

While Perine did have a higher yards per carry average (4.1) than Mixon (3.9), the latter had more than double the amount of yards total and found the end zone at a higher percentage relative to his total amount of carries. Perine was more effective in the passing game, though, doubling his touchdown total (four to Mixon’s two) and having a higher yards per catch (7.6 to Mixon’s 7.3).

Perine was a fourth-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL draft, being selected 114th overall by Washington.

What Samaje Perine Signing Could Mean for Broncos

The Broncos bringing on Perine, a backup, could indicate that Javonte Williams — who tore his ACL during Week 4 of the 2022 season against the Raiders in a 32-23 loss — is progressing enough to return for the start of the 2023 season.

The Mile High Report’s Scotty Payne sees it that way. “Starting running back Javonte Williams is coming off a serious knee injury and his recovery and availability for the season remains up in the air,” he prefaced before saying, “So, if the Broncos signed a starting caliber running back, it would be a sign that they are not expecting Williams to be ready. However, adding a solid number two back could be an encouraging sign for his prognosis moving forward, but only time will tell there.”

Payne made the point that had the Broncos signed a rusher like Kareem Hunt or David Montgomery, that would’ve been a sign Williams’ injury wasn’t going well.

Samaje Perine Not the ‘Sexiest’ Signing for Broncos

Perine wasn’t the “sexiest” signing for the Broncos according to Payne, but he does fill needs in a backfield whose strength is in numbers.

“This is not the sexiest signing, but he is a solid number two back who can help out the team in many ways,” Payne wrote.

The Mile High Report writer believes that Denver isn’t done adding talent to its running back room with the NFL draft approaching on April 27-29. “This will not be the only move the team makes at running back and I expect them to add an explosive threat during the draft,” Payne wrote.

Payne also expects Latavius Murray to be back in Denver after leading the team in rushing yards (703) and rushing touchdowns (five). “Veteran Latavius Murray also seems like a lock to return and he lead the Broncos backfield last season and looked effective while doing it,” he wrote.

Overall, the Perine signing got high marks from the Mile High Report. “All in all, this all seems like a positive thing regarding Javonte Williams health, but we shall see how it plays out in the coming months,” Payne wrote.