For the past two years, the Dolphins didn’t have a running back who could get that tough yard.
Now they have one who’s so tough, he’s not afraid to cry.
The Dolphins have agreed to terms with free agent running back Knowshon Moreno, the Miami Herald has confirmed, a one-year deal that NFL.com reported is worth $3 million. As of late Thursday, the team had not made the move official.
Even casual sports fans know Moreno as the back with the amazing tear ducts. His waterworks during the national anthem before a game last season launched a thousand (at least) GIFs.
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Now he hopes to make opposing defenses sob. Moreno will, at the very least, compete with Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas for the starting job. He had nearly as many rushing yards last season as Miller and Thomas combined.
Moreno, who played all five of his NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos, visited with the Dolphins last week but left without a contract. He agreed to one Thursday.
Moreno ran for a career-high 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. He also caught 60 passes for 548 yards and three scores. He was the first back in Broncos history to go over 1,000 yards and catch 50 or more passes.
“Knowshon is a very versatile back,” said retired receiver Dave Logan, who does the radio play-by-play for Broncos games. “He runs with great leverage. He’s got toughness to him. And he’s really very, very good at blitz pickup.”
That final skill might be the most important for the Dolphins, who allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks in 2013. Of those, five were the fault of the running backs, according to the scouting service Pro Football Focus. Moreno, meanwhile, allowed just one in 19 regular-season and playoff games.
Moreno, who played collegiately at the University of Georgia, tore his ACL in 2011 but appears to have made a complete recovery.