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Broncos match C.J. Anderson's offer sheet from Dolphins

The Broncos will hang onto Anderson on the four-year deal he agreed to with the Dolphins.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos will match the offer sheet that running back C.J. Anderson signed with the Miami Dolphins, general manager John Elway confirmed on Twitter. Anderson, a restricted free agent, was tendered at an original-round designation by the Broncos, which meant they only had the right to match any deal he signed due to the fact that he was undrafted out of college.

Such a designation was a big surprise given Anderson has been considered a rising back and a big part of Denver's offense going forward. Given the huge question marks at the quarterback position at the time of designation, the Broncos either felt confident that Anderson would remain with the team or they did not consider him valuable enough to protect with a tender.

The Broncos tendered inside linebacker Brandon Marshall at the second-round level, meaning any team signing him to an offer sheet would have to give up a second-round pick if the Broncos don't match the offer. Anderson got no such designation.

For his part, Anderson is happy to be back with the Broncos either way.

Anderson joined the Broncos in 2013 and in 2014, was given the chance to carry the load and performed well. He had 849 yards and a per-carry average of 4.7 yards, and was the presumed starter going into 2015. Anderson struggled early, but in the end he finished with another 4.7 yards per carry average and 720 yards. He got better as the season went on and was the starter in the Super Bowl.

Anderson's offer sheet from the Dolphins was a four-year, $18 million deal. He was signed to be Miami's starter, but by keeping him at these contract numbers, the Broncos are confirming that they consider Anderson a big prat of the offense going forward.