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NFL roster moves: Carolina Panthers sign free agent running back C.J. Anderson

With the departure of Jonathan Stewart this offseason, the Panthers had a need for quality depth at the running back position

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In an effort to add more of a traditional running back to the roster, the Panthers have signed former Broncos running back C.J. Anderson to a one-year contract. The 27 year-old rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season behind a mediocre offensive line, on an offense that had very little stability or production in the passing game. The 5’8” 225 lbs back will compete (and likely win) the second running back spot behind projected starter Christian McCaffrey.

It speaks to the state of the running back position when a 1,000+ yard rusher is still available in May, and further can be signed to a one-year contract for what is likely close to the veteran-minimum. This signing suggests that the Panthers organization didn’t feel comfortable with Cameron Artis-Payne as the primary backup. The signing also suggests that the organization will continue to be balanced on offense, as Ron Rivera’s stable of competent backs is now likely complete for 2018. Anderson is built more in the vein of a Jonathan Stewart, so look for him to take the lion’s share of Stewart’s role from 2017.