Anderson, 25, will get a guaranteed $5.25 million signing bonus, and his base salary of $675,000 is also guaranteed. In addition, $1.7 million of his $2.9 million base salary in 2017 is also guaranteed. Anderson’s base salaries of $4.5 million in 2018 and 2019 are not guaranteed. He will have to be on the Broncos’ roster to earn it.
Broncos general manager John Elway tweeted about the move on Tuesday.
Just got off the phone w/CJ & let him know we’re excited to match the offer sheet. We have high expectations for CJ and are glad he’s back!
— John Elway (@johnelway) March 15, 2016
Anderson was asked on ESPN’s NFL Live what his expectations are now that he is returning to Denver.
“At the end of the day, I’ve always said that I’ve wanted to be one of the best to ever play,” he said before listing a number of greats like Jerome Bettis and LaDainian Tomlinson.
As for what he has to do to live up to his new deal, Anderson said: “I have to come in in phenomenal shape when I come into training camp. I have to play every play like it’s my last.”
The Broncos opened business Tuesday with $11.523 million worth of salary-cap space after reworking DeMarcus Ware‘s contract, so they could afford to match Anderson’s offer sheet.
The Broncos have also given some consideration to free-agent quarterback Robert Griffin III. And there is the looming megadeal the Broncos continue to work on with linebacker Von Miller, who received the team’s exclusive franchise tag on March 1. It is expected Miller’s contract will contain a significant payout of guaranteed money the Broncos will need to have on hand.
Anderson, who made the Broncos’ roster as an undrafted rookie in 2013, was tendered at a one-year $1.671 million deal with the Broncos holding right of first refusal on the restricted free agent. That meant the Broncos could match any offer, but it also meant they would not have received any compensation from the Dolphins.
I will be apart of the Broncos for 4 more years blessed to be apart of this wonderful Organization and super blessed for this opp 32-254-22
— Cj Anderson (@cjandersonb22) March 15, 2016
The numbers 32, 254 and 22 could refer to 32 teams in the NFL, 254 draft picks and 22 running backs selected before Anderson.
Anderson was an injury replacement in the Pro Bowl following the 2014 season, in which he rushed for 849 yards and eight touchdowns. Anderson gained the bulk of those yards with his work down the stretch as the Broncos were on track for another playoff spot.
This past season, he battled injuries and was in a rotation with 24-year-old Ronnie Hillman. He finished with 720 yards and five touchdowns to go with a 4.7 yards per carry average. Anderson had 90 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Broncos’ 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Miami is desperate for a lead runner after losing former starter Lamar Miller to the Houston Texans in free agency. Miller, 25, agreed to a four-year deal worth $26 million on the first day of free agency.
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.