Running back Phillip Lindsay and the Broncos have decided to part ways, after the Denver native spent three seasons on his hometown team, becoming a fan favorite in Broncos Country.
The team, Lindsay and Lindsay's agent, Mike McCartney, announced the decision Thursday morning on Twitter. And Broncos General Manager George Paton addressed the reasoning behind it at a press conference late in the day.
“We had talks over the last couple of weeks with Phillip and Mike McCartney and at the end of the day, we wanted to do right by Phillip,” Paton said. “He’s been a great player here, he’s been great in the community, he’s been one of the more popular players for the Broncos the last couple years and we wanted to let Phillip hit the market and maximize his value. He deserved that.”
After several positive talks with Phillip Lindsay & his representation, we have mutually decided to part ways.From a college FA to the first undrafted offensive rookie to make the Pro Bowl, you made an incredible impact in the orange & blue.Thanks for everything, @I_CU_Boy! pic.twitter.com/G2h0jMpN2Q— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) March 18, 2021
This decision comes only four days after the Broncos decided to place an original-round tender on Lindsay, meaning he could accept offer sheets from other teams without the Broncos receiving compensation if the offer was matched. The decision was something both sides wanted, allowing Lindsay to find a new home where he would have a better opportunity for more playing time as Melvin Gordon became the clear No. 1 running back in Denver at the end of the 2020 season.
Lindsay, who was born in Denver and attended South High School, joined the Broncos in 2018 after playing four seasons at the University of Colorado. Lindsay's rookie campaign was the best of his career with 1,037 rushing yards, nine touchdowns and a Pro Bowl selection. He had nearly identical numbers in 2018, with 1,011 yards and seven touchdowns.
His production decreased in 2020 with 502 yards and only one touchdown. The drop came as he split time with Gordon, suffered several injuries and never quite fit in new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur's scheme.
Still, Lindsay was beloved by fans for being a local kid, the leadership he showed on the field and the love he gave back to his city off the field.
"I’m very appreciative for my time with the Denver Broncos," Lindsay wrote on Twitter Thursday. "As a Colorado kid, I was able to fulfill my dream of playing for my home team. I want to thank my teammates, coaches, staff and everyone involved in the Broncos organization who made this possible for me.
and allows me to do what’s best for my family. Thank you Broncos country you will always hold a special place in my heart. https://t.co/7aIfsc713E— Phillip Lindsay (@I_CU_boy) March 18, 2021