Steelers rumors: Rashard Mendenhall attracts Cardinals, Broncos in free agency

Jared Wickerham

Mendenhall fell out of favor with Pittsburgh in what appears to have been his final season with the team.

Five years after Rashard Mendenhall was selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers are seemingly content with allowing the running back to reach free agency where interest has already been piqued, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Per Dulac, Mendenhall has already drawn the eyes of two teams that are interested in his services:

The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos are interested in Mendenhall, who fell into disfavor with coach Mike Tomlin last season and was suspended for one game for failing to show up for a game when he was inactive.

Mendenhall, 25, played in all but one game during the 2009-2011 seasons and accumulated an average of over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns per year. In what appears to have been his final season with the Steelers, though, he finished with just 182 yards rushing and didn't find the endzone, as Jonathan Dwyer became the go-to back for the team.

The Broncos finished the 2012 season with the NFL's best record at 13-3 and had the league's fourth-best offense, led by Peyton Manning. However, Knowshon Moreno has been a disappointment for the team and running back Willis McGahee, the team-leader in rushing yards, is on the wrong side of 30.

On Monday, the Cardinals parted ways with former first-round pick Chris Wells, after the team finished with the worst offense in the NFL. The team's leading rusher, LaRod Stephens-Howling, accumulated just 357 yards on the ground, making Arizona a team desperate for help at the position.

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