The Detroit Lions have reached agreement on a one-year deal with C.J. Anderson, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter, giving the franchise the veteran big back it had been searching for since it chose to not re-sign LeGarrette Blount earlier this offseason.
Let's have some fun https://t.co/5skII5wikt— Cj Anderson (@cjandersonb22) April 1, 2019
The 28-year-old former Pro Bowler had a re-emergence with the Los Angeles Rams in the final two games of the regular season and playoffs last year. By signing with the Lions, he can play a complementary role to Kerryon Johnson and is not a threat to take pass-catching work from Theo Riddick.
He'll likely compete with Zach Zenner, who re-signed with Detroit this offseason, for the No. 2/3 back role. Multiple times this offseason, Lions coach Matt Patricia suggested that he would like to use multiple running backs instead of having a true featured back.
Signing Anderson gives the Lions another proven option to mix in with Johnson.
The Lions focused on Rams running backs this offseason, giving Malcolm Brown an offer sheet -- a deal Los Angeles matched to keep Brown. Then the club turned to Anderson.
The 5-foot-8, 225-pound Anderson has averaged more than 4.0 yards per carry every season of his career and had his most productive seasons with the Broncos. He played in Denver from 2013 to 2017 after going undrafted out of Cal, where he was teammates with current Lions receiver Marvin Jones. He went to the Pro Bowl after the 2014 season, won a Super Bowl in the 2015 season and had his lone 1,000-yard year in 2017, when he gained 1,007 yards on 245 carries.
With running back Todd Gurley sidelined because of a left knee injury, Anderson started the final two games of the regular season and rushed for a combined 299 yards and two touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. His performance earned him shared time with Gurley in the playoffs.
In a divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys, Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns. The Rams were then unable to get their run game, powered by Gurley and Anderson, moving in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIII.
In his career, Anderson has rushed 760 times for 3,454 yards and 22 touchdowns while catching 108 passes for 900 yards and five touchdowns.
ESPN's Lindsey Thiry contributed to this report.