Don’t count out Ronnie Hillman, yet.
The Denver Broncos reached out to Hillman last week and communicated their interest in possibly bringing back the running back. However, several other teams are also interested in Hillman and every NFL team has more available salary cap space than the Broncos.
Hillman was the Broncos’ No. 1 running back while C.J. Anderson was No. 2 for most of last season. Hillman led the Broncos with 863 yards rushing and seven touchdowns during the regular season while Anderson finished with 720 yards and five touchdowns.
Hillman started 12 consecutive games, including the Broncos’ two AFC playoff wins against Pittsburgh and New England, before Anderson started in Super Bowl 50 and handled almost all the tailback workload in Denver’s Super Bowl 50 win against Carolina.
Hillman became an unrestricted free agent on March 9 while Anderson became a low-tendered restricted free agent. As it turned out, Anderson was in the more advantageous position as he wound up with a four-year, $18 million offer from the Miami Dolphins that was matched by the Broncos.
Anderson will be the Broncos’ No. 1 back in 2016 as he has already received $5.225 million in the form of a roster bonus from his new deal. Interest in Hillman was slow through the first two weeks of free agency but has since picked up. The Broncos' only experienced backup to Anderson is Juwan Thompson, who has shown flashes in his first two seasons but has struggled to stay healthy.