Veteran tailbacks in healthy supply for '05

Updated: January 18, 2005, 4:08 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Add another name to the growing list of veteran tailbacks available in the trade market.

The Denver Broncos -- likely to be well-stocked at the position in 2005, when players such as Quentin Griffin and Mike Anderson return from injuries -- have granted permission to the agent for Reuben Droughns to discuss potential trade scenarios with other franchises, ESPN.com has learned.

Reuben Droughns
Running Back
Denver Broncos
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Rush Yds TD Rec Yds TD
275 1240 6 32 241 2

The Broncos are said to be seeking one high-round draft pick and one middle-round selection for Droughns, who rushed for 1,240 yards in 2004. The Buffalo Bills last week granted permission for Travis Henry, who lost his starting job to Willis McGahee and desperately wants to move on, to speak with other clubs.

"Reuben wants to be a No. 1 tailback somewhere, and wants to be compensated as such, and it's a very crowded situation in Denver, as everyone knows," said Drew Rosenhaus, who represents Droughns. "So we're going to try to stir some action, to create interest, and see if we can make something happen."

Simply gaining permission to discuss trade possibilities with other teams does not always lead to a deal. The agent must first find a team interested in acquiring his client, usually within the compensation parameters established by the incumbent club, then hope the two franchises can strike a deal. In that regard, though, Rosenhaus has a notable track record.

Rosenhaus was instrumental in three major trades of veteran players last year -- the deal that sent Broncos tailback Clinton Portis to Washington, one in which Miami defensive end Adewale Ogunleye was swapped to the Chicago Bears and the trade that sent Green Bay cornerback Mike McKenzie to New Orleans -- and is hopeful he can do the same for Droughns, a five-year veteran coming off a breakthrough 2004 season.

Droughns, 26, opened the season at fullback, then switched to the tailback spot when the Broncos suffered a rash of injuries. He carried 275 times for 1,240 yards and six touchdowns, all career highs. At one stretch, Droughns posted 100-yard outings in six of seven games, and he ran for more than 150 yards on three occasions.

Entering the season, Droughns, who spent most of his first four NFL seasons at fullback, had rushed for only 97 yards and one touchdown on 40 attempts.

The Broncos like a pair of young tailbacks, Griffin and Tatum Bell, and also have former rookie of the year Anderson coming back from injury, so the depth chart is crowded.

Droughns has two seasons remaining on his current contract, is scheduled to earn base salaries of $950,000 in 2005 and $1.15 million in 2006, and likely wants to upgrade those numbers, if possible.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

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