Today we continue Looking back at the 2016 off-season for the Miami Dolphins and the 20 moves that could impact not only the 2016 season but beyond.
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Number 16: C.J. Anderson remains a Bronco
The Dolphins weren’t sure what to do at runningback but they had made the decision that it would not be Lamar Miller (his departure is later in the countdown). Miami opted to pursue Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson.
Anderson was tagged with a right to match designation and the Dolphins decided to give Anderson the starting running back job. Anderson and Adam Gase had worked together in Denver and Anderson fit with what Gase was bringing to Miami.
The Broncos waited until the final day to match the contract that the Dolphins offered Anderson and he remained a member of the Broncos.
The decision to offer Anderson a soft contract allowed the Broncos to match and thus it left a hole for the Dolphins to fill. Most of the running backs in free agency were already gone and the Dolphins were taking the unusual approach in free agency to not overspend. On anyone.
With Anderson no longer an option the Dolphins turned to what was left. They spoke with Arian Foster who wasn’t ready to return yet and ended up adding Daniel Thomas and Isaiah Pead to the roster leaving Jay Ajayi as the main running back.
Eventually the Dolphins would bring Arian Foster into the fold and they would also draft 3rd rounder and former Alabama runner Kenyan Drake but the loss of Anderson left the Dolphins thin at the position. Especially at depth.
Miami will enter the pre-season with Foster, Ajayi, Drake, Thomas, Pead, and Damien Williams who has been struggling throughout the off-season with a nagging injury. On paper the unit doesn’t look bad but they are mostly unproven and lack real NFL experience, except of course for Foster.
Losing out on Anderson is not the end of the world but the Dolphins lost the ability to bring in more experienced depth and competition.