NFL Rumors: Releasing Knowshon Moreno Would Be Foolish Move by Broncos

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 11:  Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos at Cowboys Stadium on August 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos have high aspirations this season, mostly thanks to the addition of Peyton Manning as their starting quarterback.

An interesting scenario is developing in their backfield this preseason, one that Adam Schefter of ESPN believes could see Knowshon Moreno cut (via Evan Silva of Pro Football Talk).

On SportsCenter, ESPN's Adam Schefter mentioned Knowshon Moreno & James Starks as potential surprise cuts ahead of Friday's parings to 53.

— Evan Silva (@evansilva) August 27, 2012

It should be noted that Vic Lombardi of CBS 4 in Denver states unequivocally that Moreno is not in any danger of losing his job. 

Lastly, in case you're wondering, Knowshon Moreno is a lock to make this team.

— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) August 27, 2012

That said, Schefter clearly had some kind of knowledge that Moreno could be on the chopping block, to which I ask: why?

If you want to say that Moreno has been a disappointment since being drafted 12th overall in the 2009 NFL draft, you would not be entirely wrong. He has only played a full 16-game season once, his rookie season, and has yet to break the 1,000-yard barrier. 

However, it is important to keep certain things in context. Moreno has battled injury problems the last two seasons, so we don't know exactly what he is capable of having never seen him at peak physical condition. 

Another factor working in his favor is age. Moreno is just 25 years old, and since he has not played much in the last two years, the wear and tear on his body is substantially less than what a normal 25-year-old running back would have. 

Finally, Moreno comes incredibly cheap. According to Rotoworld, he is only making an $855,000 base salary in 2012. If the Broncos can get anything out of him at that price, they would be ecstatic. 

Moreno isn't going to turn into a superstar, nor is he likely be a No. 1 back in a multi-back system, but as a cheap, change-of-pace runner, he still holds value for the Broncos. 

Even if Moreno isn't in the Broncos' long-term plans, if he can play out the season healthy and produce at a relatively high level, he could be a nice trade chip to have in order to accrue a draft pick or two. 

You can't give up on talent when you really have nothing to judge it by. Moreno has plenty of time to prove he can be a quality NFL running back, and the Broncos would be foolish not to see him hit that potential with them.