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Horse Tracks: Jamaal Charles worth roll of the dice for Broncos

The Denver Broncos signing of Jamaal Charles is a low-risk move that has the potential to pay big dividends for the team in 2017.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country.

Yesterday, the Denver Broncos signed former Kansas City Chiefs star running back Jamaal Charles to a one-year contract that can be worth up to $3.75 million if incentives are reached. It was a move that was worth a roll of the dice for John Elway and the Denver Broncos, who needed a fourth running back to come in and compete for playing time in 2017.

It is a low-risk, high-reward move for Denver. If Charles pans out, the move might just be enough to take the Broncos offense off life support, as fellow colleague Ian St. Clair writes. Charles has had issues with injuries over the past two years, but prior to those injuries, he was easily one of the most dominant running backs in the entire league.

Paired with C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and 2017 draft selection De'Angelo Henderson, Charles won't have to shoulder the immense burden of being a true number one back that has over 25 touches a game. That should help keep him fresh, and allow for him to make big plays whether it is rushing or receiving when the team decides to call his number on Sunday's. He should also prove to be a wise veteran leader in the locker room and offer advice and tutelage to the young players the Broncos have acquired over the past several seasons.

The signing of Charles, now 30 years old, reminds me of when the Broncos signed veteran back Willis McGahee in 2011. In that season, McGahee lead the team in rushing with 1,199 yards and sported a 4.8 yard per carry average and was a presence the team needed that helped earn them a playoff birth that season. McGahee's success that year is proof that running backs, even with an injury history and older in age can still have success in the NFL. Coincidentally, the Broncos' offensive coordinator that season is the one who will be calling the plays for the team in 2017 — Mike McCoy.

The Broncos are hoping that the addition of Charles can be similar to what transpired with McGahee in 2011 and provide a boost to an offense that was in desperate need of playmakers prior to the additions in the 2017 NFL Draft. Speed and toughness have now been added to the roster, and the talent on offense looks much better now than it did at the end of last year. If Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian can make some big strides this training camp and pre-season, the Broncos have set themselves up to have a potentially explosive offense this season.

With the hardest strength of schedule out of any team in the league, the Broncos are certainly going to need all the help they can get. The addition of Charles to the Broncos' backfield was a move in the right direction, and a roll of the dice that certainly has the opportunity to pay big dividends for the franchise if he stays healthy. If it doesn't pan out, no harm no foul, but here is to hoping that Charles can make a splash for the Broncos in 2017. I certainly believe he can and will.

As always, thank you for reading and here is today's offering of Horse Tracks.

Horse Tracks

Jamaal Charles already welcome in Broncos backfield
Charles' veteran presence and proven productivity will be invaluable to the success of the Broncos' running game this season.

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Draft altered landscape for Denver Broncos at running back, tight end
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