When you’re KNOWSHON MORENO, a 2009 NFL first-round pick of the Denver Broncos who was once a college football stud and Heisman Trophy candidate from a major football program, it’s easy to figure you’ve made it once you shake Commissioner Roger Goodell’s hand. But just like financing your first car, the hard part may not be obtaining the vehicle but keeping it around.
That’s what Moreno, fighting his way back from a torn ACL in 2011, is facing going into training camp with the Broncos this summer. Trying to stick around and somehow negate the dreaded “NFL bust” label that has preceded him.
Happen to recall a running back named Rashaan Salaam? Nah? Didn’t think so. An apparent A-lister with all those “A”s in his name right? Although Salaam was the 1994 Heisman Trophy award winner, dude turned out to be an NFL bust. Moreno is trying to avoid a similar scenario…without a Heisman.
Moreno may find himself flying out of Denver this season if he is unable to show the form that made him a top NFL prospect out of Georgia in 2009.
Since joining the Broncos as a highly-touted running back prospect out of Georgia, Moreno has seen his production tumble in each of his three seasons in the NFL. What’s worse is it appears the Broncos are ready to give up on the 25-year old Belford, New Jersey native.
With Willis McGahee cemented as the starter and the drafting of rookie back Ronnie Hillman (a John Elway favorite), Moreno’s chances at a comeback in Denver seem remote. He hasn’t been exactly wowing them in spring practices, either.
While Moreno’s time in Denver may be numbered, his financial situation appears secure. He is in the fourth year of a five-year, $16.7 million contract with $13.1 million guaranteed.
If Denver decides to cut Moreno, maybe an opportunity someplace else will work. Change is often times good.
That is, if another NFL team is willing to take a chance on a Bronco branded as a bust.