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Knowshon Moreno to Dolphins: Latest Contract Details, Analysis and Reaction

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Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 27, 2014

Knowshon Moreno's first 1,000-yard rushing campaign of his five-year career wasn't enough to keep him in Denver.

The Dolphins made things official on Friday:

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported terms of the deal:

As NFL.com's Ian Rapoport provides financial details of the contract:

Rapoport also indicates, Miami's backfield gains a much-needed veteran presence and toughness with the acquisition:

Although Moreno's swan song in Denver didn't exactly go as planned—37 total yards in a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII—he still enjoyed the most productive season of his career.

Benefiting from defenses focusing on Peyton Manning and the Broncos' pass offense, Moreno tallied 1,038 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns during the regular season. He added 60 receptions for 548 yards and three scores through the air, which approached his receiving output from the previous three seasons combined.

Moreno, following his transformation from first-round disappointment to near 1,600-yard back, talked about his desire to stay in Denver, per ESPN's Cecil Lammey:

Unfortunately, the writing of his departure was always on the wall.

The Broncos drafted Montee Ball in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft, and as the season progressed, the former Wisconsin star became more and more featured in the offense. Throw in Moreno's injury history and the short shelf life for NFL running backs, and many assumed Denver would move on after the 2013 season.

Still, while part of Moreno's success can be attributed to a dynamic offense, he showed improvement and played 16 games for the first time since his rookie season. Moreover, his versatility as a pass-catching back made him a sought-after commodity on the open market.

And as ESPN Stats & Info pointed out, he protected the ball extremely well:

This separation was as much about his value (and price tag) taking off as it was about the Broncos looking toward the future. That's no problem for Joe Philbin and his staff, who now have themselves a hard-working, consistent, solid running back capable of contributing in every phase of the game.

Gaining a talent like Moreno alongside Lamar Miller should help Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins offense gain some consistency in the backfield to help open up the passing game, taking some of the pressure off Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline.

Moreno is still relatively young and only has 845 career rushing attempts on his tires. Utilized in the proper way, there's no reason he can't continue to build on his strong 2013 campaign outside Denver.

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