Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
Moreno has been terrific this season. He has played with power and emotion. He has been all heart. When he gets tackled, he jumps back up and runs to the huddle. Before one game, cameras caught him crying on the field, he was so amped up to play.
It's been a beautiful transformation to watch, and Moreno deserves a lot of credit for what the team has done this year.
That said, Denver should not make the mistake of rewarding one good year with a huge contract.
Sure, Moreno has been good, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he's done it in a contract year. This story has played itself out before. Players step up in contract years because they want to get paid.
While it's impossible to know what Moreno will do in the future, it is possible to know what he's done in the past. History is the best teacher you can find.
Moreno has suffered his fair share of injuries, including a torn ACL. This is the first time in a five-year career—longer than the average for a running back—that he has broken the 1,000-yard mark. He fumbled so much in 2012 that he was deactivated for eight weeks and sent to the practice squad.
Paying players who only perform in a contract year just sets the team up for the new contract to backfire. Moreno has been inspiring this season, but it would be a mistake to give him an extended contract that might see the return of the mediocre numbers that he produced in every year but this one.
On top of that, the Broncos invested a second-round pick in Montee Ball, so it would be wise to see what they have in him. He can probably produce similar numbers in this offense, with Manning taking the pressure off the running game, for less money.