2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Fantasy isn’t reality … but reality can learn from fantasy

Published: February 22, 2014, 4:57 pm, by Matt Wiley
Denver's Knowshon Moreno should be playing elsewhere next season according to The Gazette's Matt Wiley. (Photos by The Associated Press).

Denver’s Knowshon Moreno should be playing elsewhere next season according to The Gazette’s Matt Wiley. (Photos by The Associated Press).

The Broncos would be foolish to pay to keep running back Knowshon Moreno.

I love Moreno’s bounce-back story, I love the passion he plays with – but I would hate if he played for Denver next season.

I did some number crunching and it makes no sense for Denver to invest in Moreno … and it equally makes no sense for Moreno to return to Denver when he could possibly get $3 million a season elsewhere.

The Gazette’s Paul Klee wrote a column during the season about how these Broncos look like those Colts with Manning. And I agree 100 percent.

The Broncos do look like the Colts – and that is part of the problem. Denver is too reliant on the offense. I hope they continue to be like the Colts, see below for explanation.

Now back to running back – a look at the numbers:

In 2005 Indianapolis running back Edgerrin James rushed for 1,506 yards on 360 carries with 13 TDs on the ground. He added 44 catches for 337 yards and a score.

In 2013 Moreno rushed for 1,038 yards on 241 carries with 10 TDs on the ground. He added 60 catches for 548 yards and three scores.

James spent eight seasons in Indianapolis, rushing for over 1,000 yards six times. In ’04 and ’05 he gained over 1,500 on the ground. James was clearly a more productive back than Moreno has ever been in his career.

Moreno’s longest run of the season was 31 yards and he averaged 4.3 yards per carry. On 120 carries, teammate Montee Ball had a 45-yard run and he averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Ball is the more explosive runner. The Broncos have used high draft picks on Ball and Ronnie Hillman. It is time for them to produce and to let Moreno get a big payday in another NFL city.

Oh,  in 2006, James signed a four-year deal worth $30 million … with the Cardinals. The deal was said to pay James $14.5 million in the first year through salary, signing bonus and a roster bonus.

In 2006, the Colts (without James) won the Super Bowl. Is that a coincidence? Or did they spend their money wisely?

The threat of Peyton Manning is what makes the running game go. And having Manning is why the Broncos should let Moreno go. The Broncos should use their money to add a thumper.

Respond here or let me know what you think on twitter @MWCoyote.

And yes, I am already crunching numbers for next fantasy football season.