The Montee Ball saga has come to an end in Denver. According to the Denver Broncos, they have waived Montee Ball along with Gino Gradkowski to make room for center James Ferentz, and tight end Mitchell Henry.
With the Dallas Cowboys dealing a pick for a different running back, John Elway had little choice but to cut bait with the former 2nd round pick.
#Broncos awarded C James Ferentz, TE Mitchell Henry; waive C Gino Gradkowski, RB Montee Ball http://t.co/SXOgAuprIi pic.twitter.com/QlUcQeJAyL— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 6, 2015
While this news was somewhat expected, it is also still shocking. There were reports that the Broncos and Cowboys were engaged in trade talks surrounding Montee Ball, but those talks apparently didn't lead anywhere. The Cowboys eventually sent a seventh-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for Christine Michael earlier today. This might be where Elway decided to cut bait with his disappointing former second-round pick.
It was a tough summer for Ball who entered Training Camp as the Broncos "1B" to starting running back C.J. Anderson. He quickly fell behind running back Ronnie Hillman who shined during Training Camp and the Preseason. He then fell behind second-year running back Juwan Thompson during the team's third preseason game. The writing was on the wall when Ball was splitting carries with Kapri Bibbs during the Broncos final preseason game last week.
Ball just didn't look like the same back that impressed during the second half of his rookie season. He looked slow, lacked vision, and was being outplayed by every running back on the roster.
It seemed like Ball's legs were wearing down on him, and he told Mile High Sports Radio's Eric Goodman that he wishes he never returned to Wisconsin his senior year.
"It was a lot of carries. I can only blame myself for that for staying in my senior year. My senior year I got like 330 carries. If I had to go back, I would change that. I would change that. But being in the situation I'm in now, I can only just keeping staying on top of my body, keeping it healthy."
Montee Ball played two seasons with the Denver Broncos, and during those two seasons he rushed for 731 yards on 175 carries. That averages out to be 4.2 yards per carry for his career. His 2014 YPC was only 3.1, and after seeing how he played this preseason, that's why he was waived.
I'd expect Ball to get claimed by another team pretty quickly. He is still fairly young, and was a second round pick. Those two things will always give a player a second chance in the NFL.
I would like to thank the @Broncos for a fun ride...many lessons learned met some great lifelong friends! Head held high..— Montee Ball (@ballrb28) September 6, 2015
This leaves the Broncos with three running backs currently on their 53-man roster - Anderson, Hillman and Thompson. I'd expect Bibbs and maybe another back taken in waivers to be added to the team's practice squad later today.