Knowshon Moreno hopes to remain with Broncos

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The running says he wants to re-sign with Denver after a breakout 2013, but can the Broncos afford to keep him?

Though Knowshon Moreno's breakout 2013 has earned him the right to sign a lucrative contract with any number of potential teams in free agency this offseason, the running back says he hopes to re-sign with the Denver Broncosaccording to Colorado's 9NEWS.com.

"We'll see what happens in the offseason and hopefully I'm still here with this team," said Moreno, who rushed for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns this past season.

Moreno may want to stay in Denver, but his big year has likely made him too expensive for the Broncos. They're not necessarily in dire straights as far as salary cap goes -- they have about $12.9 million in cap room, according to OverTheCap.com, and could increase that to around $19 million through cuts -- but the Broncos face tough contract decisions with several other key players. The contracts of wideout Eric Decker and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie also expire in March, and they also have to plan for the impending free agencies of Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas a year from now.

The biggest factor behind Moreno's expendability in Denver is backup running back Montee Ball, who the Broncos spent a second-round pick on in 2013. Ball was underwhelming in his rookie season, running for 559 yards and four touchdowns, but comes with a significantly cheaper price tag. He's playing under a four-year, $3.53 million contract. For comparison, Moreno is likely to draw something in the range of the $12 million deal Steven Jackson signed with the Atlanta Falcons last year.

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