Montee Ball Rumors: 3 Teams That Could Sign the Former Broncos RB
Montee Ball wasn’t good enough to hang on with the Denver Broncos this year, despite seemingly being made their franchise running back via the 2013 NFL Draft. Denver spent a second round pick on the former Wisconsin star, but ultimately chose to part ways with three more reliable options ahead of him in their offensive backfield.
Ball may come off as another Ron Dayne castoff, but he actually looked plenty talented coming out of college. He made a solid impact as a rookie operating behind starter Knowshon Moreno, and then once Moreno left in 2014 free agency, the starting job was Ball’s to lose.
Lose it, he did. Ball was sub par in week one of last year, and could never get healthy after dealing with numerous injuries to kick off 2014. Add in strong showings by the likes of C.J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson, and Ball was suddenly expendable.
#Broncos cut Montee Ball and Gino Gradkowski to make room for waiver claims. So another running back available.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 6, 2015
That doesn’t mean Ball doesn’t have value now that he’s out on the open market. He’s a bit of a plodder at first glance, but Ball had some nice wiggle and a decent burst initially, and in the right situation it’s still possible he could turn his career around. More importantly, he might be able to help the right team’s struggling ground game. Who could he help, exactly? Let’s go over three solid options:
Rookie Tevin Coleman is an impressive talent and fellow Falcons running back Devonta Freema is serviceable. There are just two huge problems: neither is a proven inside or short yardage runner, and both have already dealt with injuries this year. Ball isn’t necessarily an automatic upgrade over either of them, but he is probably a better inside rusher and could help the Falcons in the red-zone. It doesn’t hurt that the interest would be mutual, as Atlanta is reportedly already considering bringing him in.
The Titans are another team less than satisfied with their running back situation. Tennessee has never been high on Bishop Sankey, who they spent a second round pick on last year and already looks like a failure. 2015 Rookie David Cobb is on the designated for return/IR, so he’s already looking bleak for this year, too. Tennessee did swing a trade recently to acquire Browns running back Terrance West, but he by no means solves their issue right off the bat. There isn’t a direct tie to the Titans signing Montee Ball yet, but there certainly is reason to think it could happen.
Dallas just traded for Christine Michael and already has Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden in place, but they’re still thought to be somewhat uneasy about their offensive backfield.
They probably shouldn’t be content just yet, as they still don’t have a true replacement for the departed DeMarco Murray. For a team that plans on running the ball a lot again in 2015, Dallas could be putting themselves in a tough spot. Ball isn’t for sure the answer, but it couldn’t hurt to add him to see how he’d fit behind one of the best offensive lines in football.
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