Signing a running back in free agency is one of the Denver Broncos' top priorities, and they could find a fit in former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, according to The Denver Post's Mike Klis.
The 25-year-old two-time 1,000-yard rusher is one of 12 to 15 free agents the Broncos have identified as a potential fit at the right price, Klis is reporting. Their current backfield consists of starter Willis McGahee, who is recovering from knee surgery and a broken leg at 32 years old, and backups Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman.
Denver, which went 13-3 and lost in the AFC divisional playoffs last season, is seeking a back with size like Mendenhall's, 225 pounds, and the 2008 first-round pick has experienced success as a starter before, totaling 3,549 yards and 29 touchdowns in his five-year career.
But Mendenhall struggled to bounce back from a torn ACL and was limited to just six games and 3.6 yards per carry last season, fumbling three times.
The Broncos' level of interest in him is unknown, and the team is also looking to fill several other needs, according to Klis.
While contacting agents of these free-agent players, the Broncos to date have said little more than they have some interest and they’ll back to them later.
Free-agent discussions figure to intensify Monday with the market officially opening at 2 p.m. MDT Tuesday. The Broncos are interested in signing a cornerback and running back. They may also seek depth at safety, receiver, defensive tackle, offensive line and possibily defensive end if they can’t work out a reduced contract with Elvis Dumervil.