C.J. Anderson is open for business.
The Denver Broncos submitted contract tenders Monday to their restricted free agents Brandon Marshall and Anderson.
Marshall, a starting inside linebacker, received a second-round tender that comes with a $2.553 million salary that will essentially take him off the market.
The Broncos, though, took a greater gamble with Anderson by offering their starting running back the lowest level, “right of first refusal” tender that will pay him a $1.671 million salary.
The Broncos still have the right to match any offer another team may submit to Anderson. But other teams can offer Anderson a contract without fear of losing a draft pick.
"Two years ago when we lost the Super Bowl, 43-8, I told my mom I wasn't good enough to get on the field and it was up to me to work hard enough to get on the field," Anderson said. "The last two years, I gave the Broncos everything I had and it still wasn't enough to get a high tender. It's on me to get better.''
The Broncos thinking with the low tender to Anderson is a running back is not a position that would draw an outsized contract they can’t match.
Anderson has finished strong each of the past two seasons.
He made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and averaged 80.4 yards rushing per game in his final five games – including three postseason games – in 2015.
With Ronnie Hillman leaving for free agency, the Broncos will pick up another running back -- either through free agency, the draft, or both – to complement Anderson.
For a team to try and sign Marshall away from the Broncos, it would not only have to submit a contract offer Denver can’t match, that team would also have to compensate the Broncos with a second-round draft pick.
As a general rule, teams consider a second-round pick too rich for a defensive player at a non-pass rush or cover corner position. There are exceptions to every rule, though, and Marshall is considered a three-down, inside linebacker whose 215 tackles the past two years led the team.
"I'm glad the Broncos showed confidence in me by wanting me back," Marshall said. "I'm appreciative of their confidence in me.''
As it is, Marshall received a nice 436 percent raise from the $585,000 salary he made last season.