The Denver Broncos released RB Travis Henry on Monday, saying his commitment to the team was in question. The Broncos signed Henry to a five-year, $22.5 million contract in March 2007. He was hampered by injuries in his only season in Denver, rushing for 691 yards on 167 carries with four touchdowns. Henry injured a hamstring while running 100-yard sprints late last month. The NFL told him in September he had failed a test for marijuana and would be suspended for a year, but he challenged the test and the punishment and won. Before joining the Broncos, Henry played for Tennessee and Buffalo. "We did not feel his commitment to the Broncos ! was enough to warrant a spot on this football team," coach Mike Shanahan said in a written statement. "Although Travis has the ability to be one of the top running backs in the NFL, we have to make decisions that are in the best interests of our organization and its goal of winning a Super Bowl."
With Henry gone, here are some thoughts on the fallout.
- Selvin Young will start for the Broncos. Last year, Young filled in for an injured Henry and rushed for 729 yards and one touchdown and caught 35 passes for 231 yards. Shanahan said earlier this offseason that Young is not "ideal for 10 to 15 carries a game," which means Young will share carries. But go into the season with Young as a No. 3 Fantasy option at this point.
- Ryan Torain should be drafted in all leagues. The Broncos drafted Torain out of Arizona State in the fifth round, and he's already being hailed as the next Terrell Davis, another late-round pick who starred for the Broncos. Shanahan likes Torain a lot, which means he could eventually be the starter. For now, he will work into the rotation behind Young, but Torain is a great option with a late-round pick and a middle-round selection in keeper formats.
- Michael Pittman and Andre Hall are even worth drafting. The Broncos signed Pittman last week, and he will now get some carries also and possibly play on third downs. Hall also could get touches, especially with Young being injury prone and Torain a rookie.
- Henry will find a job. Some team will bring him in for a low salary, and he could start for the right team if Detroit or Chicago come calling. Keep an eye on what develops, but Henry will still be considered a No. 4 Fantasy option. He's only 29 and has something left to offer if his knees hold up.
It's back to running back by committee in Denver, but one guy will hopefully step up and assume the role. Young will be given the first chance, but Torain is the sleeper to keep an eye on.