C.J. Anderson was an uplifting story.
The high school running back who couldn't get a D-1 scholarship offer and was forced to go the junior college route.
The college running back at Cal who couldn't get an NFL team to draft him.
The lifelong Raiders fans who wore orange for five seasons with the Broncos.
He became a quality NFL running back. He gained 1,007 yards in 2017. He will have a job in 2018. The Broncos cut him on Monday morning, but this wasn't a statement on his ability to attack NFL defenses. It was a statement on his 2018 salary, which would have run $4.5 million.
With Anderson gone, the Broncos should attempt an upgrade at running back. In other words, they shouldn't go with Dovontae Booker as lead back in 2018.
I realize running backs are not as precious as they once were. The NFL is a passing league. I get that.
But an elite running back could do much to lift the Broncos sagging offense. There are many reasons why the team has failed to reach the playoffs for consecutive seasons.
The main reason is the often pitiful offense. Free agency and the draft will offer Bronco godfather John Elway a chance to repair his broken offense.
Anderson was solid. Anderson was determined, as only a football underdog can be determined.
But he wasn't elite and would never have become elite.
An upgrade is needed.