C.J. Anderson remains with the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins continue to need a starting running back.
The Denver Broncos informed the running back they are matching a restricted free agent offer sheet the Dolphins and Anderson signed five days ago, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
[Update: It is pretty official based on the C.J. Anderson and John Elway tweets.]
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 32-254-22— Cj Anderson (@cjandersonb22) March 15, 2016
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!— John Elway (@johnelway) March 15, 2016
That leaves the Dolphins with only Jay Ajayi as a viable starter in their backfield. The team must replace Lamar Miller, their starter the past three seasons, because he signed with the Houston Texans as a free agent.
The Dolphins had structured their offer sheet to Anderson in such a way as to make it unpalatable for the Broncos to match. Miami did so by giving Anderson a guaranteed $5.25 million roster bonus on March 31 in addition to his $675,000 base salary. Because roster bonuses are not prorated like signing bonuses, the entire sum of the bonus goes toward the 2016 Anderson cap number.
Thus Anderson's cap number is $6.1 million when a $100,000 workout bonus is also factored in. That was apparently not too much cap value on Anderson for the Broncos to match.
Anderson's cap value drops in 2017 when $1.7 million of his $2.9 million base salary is guaranteed. He has a $100,000 workout bonus due that year as well for a total cap number of $3 million.
Anderson's cap numbers in 2018 and '19 are $4.5 million all drawn from his base salary. Those will be important years for Anderson. If he does not perform to expectations the next two years, the Broncos can cut him in before the 2018 or '19 season with no cap ramifications.
If re-signing Lamar Miller to start at RB was Plan A, and signing C.J. Anderson to start at RB was Plan B, the Dolphins are now at Plan C for finding a starting RB.