Phillip Lindsay, Broncos Agree to Part Ways; Denver Rescinds RFA Tender

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay runs against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

The Denver Broncos and running back Phillip Lindsay mutually agreed to part ways Thursday, making him an unrestricted free agent. 

Lindsey was originally slated to be a restricted free agent. He spent his first three NFL seasons in Denver, emerging as a Pro Bowler as a rookie after being an undrafted free agent before rushing for 1,000 yards the following season. 

Despite his effectiveness, the Broncos never seemed 100 percent sold on Lindsay being their full-time back. They signed Melvin Gordon last offseason with Lindsay coming off a 1,000-yard campaign and installed the veteran as their starter.

Lindsay was limited to 118 carries for 502 yards and one touchdown last season, all of which were career lows.

"I haven't done anything wrong for someone not to want me, other than, [if] they don't prefer me because of the way I look," Lindsay said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "If that's the case, that's played out. For me, it's just like, if you don't want me, then it's no hard feelings. It's just onto the next because at the end of the day, I need to do what's best for my family. As a business decision, you've got to understand. But for me, it's like, what more can I do? What more can I show?"

Lindsay is undersized at 5'8" and 190 pounds, but he's remained mostly healthy throughout his career. He played 31 of 32 possible games in his first two seasons before missing five contests in 2020.

It's likely Lindsay will find himself in a similar situation at his next stop, where he'll enter camp either second on the depth chart or competing with a back his new team is more comfortable with taking the majority of the workload. Unlike some other smaller backs, Lindsey hasn't shown an elite pass-catching acumen, averaging only 6.0 yards per reception for his career. He's better in first- and second-down situations, though Denver's struggles at quarterback may have limited his potential catching the ball.