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Broncos can afford to trade a running back

There are a few teams that could use more running back depth and the Broncos have a few RBs to spare. Connect the dots as you will.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Looking over the Broncosfirst depth chart, it appears that the Broncos have a crowded backfield. The team is currently carrying six RBs and only four of them are expected to be retained. That means Denver has two expendable running backs.

It would seem a shame to cut a talented RB just because there's not room on the roster for him, so the Broncos are likely considering trade options. Accepting a conditional sixth or even seventh round pick beats simply cutting a player.

Here's a breakdown of Denver's current RB depth chart:

Starter: C.J. Anderson

Anderson gained 1,173 yards from scrimmage last season, starting the team's final seven games. He's the team's main back entering 2015 and is not a candidate to be traded.

No. 2: Montee Ball

Ball has struggled to stay healthy since joining the team, but Coach Gary Kubiak spoke highly of him at training camp. He's been getting some first-team reps, but if the Broncos have confidence in their other young RBs, Ball could be viewed as expendable.

No. 3: Ronnie Hillman

Hillman played well when given opportunities last season, and he's had a good training camp. If the Broncos feel their offense has no need for a change-of-pace RB, Hillman is a trade candidate.

No. 4: Juwan Thompson

Thompson is an up-and-coming option at RB and he's unlikely to be traded.

No. 5: Jeremy Stewart

Denver would have a hard time finding a trading partner for Stewart.

No. 6: Kapri Bibbs

Bibbs has one year left of practice squad eligibility and that's likely where the Broncos hope to stash him again this season. If he plays well in preseason, there's a risk of another team signing him away. He has value as a fourth RB, but it's hard to imagine a team trying to trade for him.

Review: Ball and Hillman are really the team's only two options to trade at RB, and they may end up keeping both. If they want to keep some kind of combination between Thompson, Stewart, and Bibbs as their final RBs, they may have to make a trade.