Check off another one of the Miami Dolphins "needs" this offseason. Last week free agent running back Knowshon Moreno visited with the club, today, the Dolphins locked up the running back.
Former Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 27, 2014
A five year veteran, Moreno has spent his entire career with the Denver Broncos, who selected him in the first round of the NFL Draft in 2009. He ran for 947 yards with seven touchdowns as a rookie, appearing in all 16 games, with nine starts. He then started all 13 games in which he played in his second season, gaining 779 yards with five touchdowns.
Going into his third year, the Broncos signed free agent Willis McGahee, with the plan initially to have McGahee lighten the load on Moreno. An early injury, and McGahee's play, however, led to the newly signed veteran taking over the starting position in Week 3 of the 2011 season. In Week 7 that year, Moreno tore his ACL and found himself on Injured Reserve, having carried the ball 37 times for 179 yards that season, giving him a career high 4.8 yards per carry.
He returned for the start of the 2012 season, but found himself benched early in the season and inactive for eight games that year. He was reinstated as the starting running back after McGahee was placed on IR with a leg injury, gaining 525 yards with four touchdowns in eight games played.
Last season, Moreno won the starting position and looked like the first round pick the Broncos had expected when they drafted him. He gained 1,038 yards on 241 carries carries with 10 touchdowns. His 4.3 yards per carry was the second highest average for his career. Moreno also caught 60 passes for 548 yards, becoming the first Broncos player in team history to reach 1,000-yards rushing and 500-yards rushing in the same season.
Moreno now joins the Dolphins, who are looking to upgrade their rushing attack after Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas underwhelmed last last year. Miller, in his first year as the team's starter, ran for 709 yards with two touchdowns while Thomas added 406 yards with four scores.
Moreno and Miller will likely serve as the team's top two runners.
With the addition of Moreno, the Dolphins add a proven runner, and admit that their rushing problems in 2013 were not solely the offensive line. The team is still looking to rebuild the line that allowed a franchise record 58 sacks last year and could not open running lanes for most of the season. The team added offensive tackle Branden Albert and guard Shelley Smith already this offseason, and could look to sign other free agents or use the Draft to fill out a line that will likely have four new starters out of the five positions, with just center Mike Pouncey returning to the team in 2014.