Even before the Denver Broncosparted ways with C.J. Anderson last month, it quickly became obvious there wasn't much of a market for the veteran running back's services.
The Carolina Pantherseventually signed Anderson to a one-year contract, but the experience left him eager to prove his doubters wrong.
"I should be in my prime," Anderson told Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer. "I think I have an opportunity to do something really special here. I asked for the one-year deal. I want to prove myself that I can still play this game at a high level."
It's difficult to understand why the 27-year-old Anderson encountered such a lukewarm market coming off his first career 1,000-yard campaign after a meniscus injury derailed his 2016 season. Despite being a bright spot for an offense plagued by underperforming quarterbacks, the Broncos ultimately showed Anderson the door after failing to trade him away. The move created some salary-cap space for Denver and heralded the roster ascension of young backs Devontae Booker and De'Angelo Henderson.
Still, did the Broncos and 30 other NFL teams miss out on a bona fide rushing threat capable of being among the league's top rushers? Time will tell, but Anderson certainly believes so.
"The 1,000 yards?" Anderson said about his numbers from last season. "That was just a start."