C.J. Anderson is staying in Denver.
The Broncos notified Anderson late Tuesday that they are matching the Dolphins’ four-year, $18 million offer sheet, ESPN first reported.
Anderson then confirmed the report on Twitter, writing: “I will be apart of the Broncos for 4 more years blessed to be apart of this wonderful Organization and super blessed for this opp.”
Broncos football czar John Elway added on Twitter: “Just got off the phone w/CJ & let him know we’re excited to match the offer sheet. We have high expectations for CJ and are glad he’s back!”
Elway’s decision leaves the Dolphins right back where they were when Lamar Miller signed with the Texans last Wednesday: in need of a running back.
As of late Monday evening, the Dolphins were as curious as anyone what the Broncos would do. Most expected they would let Anderson leave for Miami, considering they didn’t offer him a second-round restricted free-agent tender that would have cost just $2.5 million in 2016.
Instead, the Broncos all but acknowledged their prior mistake, and kept one of the league’s more efficient rushers.
The news obviously was disappointing for the Dolphins, who liked Anderson and thought he would be a good system fit. But it also wasn’t as if their entire offseason plans were based around him joining the team. The organization is high on second-year back Jay Ajayi, who had 187 yards and a touchdown on 49 carries in 2015, and also see opportunities in free agency and the draft.
Free agents still on the market include Arian Foster, James Starks, Chris Johnson and Alfred Morris, who played at Florida Atlantic University.
As for the draft, running back is a strong position this year. Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott, Alabama’s Derrick Henry, Utah’s Devontae Booker and Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon could all go in the first two rounds.
Meanwhile, there’s a reason Brandon Weeden came and went without a contract from the Dolphins last weekend.
The team probably doesn’t want to replace their backup quarterback if they don’t have to.
Matt Moore might be back for season No. 6 in Miami. He huddled with team execs Tuesday at Dolphins headquarters, a sign the two sides are at least open to a new contract in 2016.
However, the visit ending without a signing — which is now a familiar pattern in Davie. The Dolphins have met with six free agents in recent days, but signed none.
Along with Moore and Weeden, the Dolphins have met with corner Josh Robinson, defensive ends Jason Jones and Chris Clemons and linebacker Sean Spence. All left team headquarters without a signed contract.
Moore, who started the second half of the 2011 season but has backed up Ryan Tannehill since, is a free agent for the third time in four offseason.
In each of the previous two, he re-upped with Miami after finding the market not as robust for his services as he would like.
Moore, who has completed just 16 passes in the past four years, met with the Cowboys last week but didn’t sign.
Aside from Tannehill, the Dolphins have no established quarterback on their roster. And the interest in Weeden and Moore suggests the team might not be sold on Logan Thomas, despite giving him a $125,000 signing bonus late last season.