Anderson is coming off his most productive NFL season in which he played all 16 games for the first time in his career. He finished with a career-high 1,007 rushing yards to go with 224 receiving yards and four total touchdowns.
The 27-year-old had spent his entire five-year career with the Broncos, producing some big moments. He earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2014 after a huge second half of the season, and he was a key part of the team's 2015 run to a Super Bowl title.
Unfortunately, consistency has been a problem, and he hadn't started more than eight games in any season until 2017. Even last year, he had more games with fewer than 50 rushing yards (seven) than games of over 100 yards (two).
Per Spotrac, Anderson was owed $9 million combined over the next two seasons but didn't come with any dead cap for the Broncos, making him a candidate for release. He saw the writing on the wall as early as December.
"Not only are you playing for if you want to be in blue or orange next year, but you're also playing for 31 other teams too," the running back said, per Jon Heath of Broncos Wire.
The team reportedly also had a verbal agreement to send the running back to the Miami Dolphins before the trade was nixed, per Troy Renck of Denver7. After apparently unable to find another potential deal, the Broncos released him to clear cap room as well as possible playing time for Devontae Booker and others.
Although teams tend to shy away from signing veteran running backs, Anderson is still young and doesn't have too much mileage on him with just 693 career carries. He should find a new job before the start of the 2018 season.