Earlier this week, the Denver Broncos said goodbye to running back Royce Freeman. It didn’t take long for the Panthers to swoop in.
The Carolina Panthers claimed Freeman off waivers on Thursday, per NFL insider Tom Pelissero.
He joins a running backs unit that already features Christian McCaffrey and Chuba Hubbard. Freeman figures to be the third-string back.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 2, 2021
Freeman, the former Oregon star and third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, lost reps when the Broncos added Melvin Gordon. Denver then took Javonte Williams in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Freeman wasn’t going to get much playing time with the Broncos as a result.
“Denver has waived running back Royce Freeman and defensive lineman Jonathan Harris, the team announced Wednesday,” the Broncos announced on Wednesday.
“Freeman, a 2018 third-round pick, carried the ball 297 times for 1,187 yards and eight touchdowns during his time in Denver. He also caught 69 passes for 409 yards and a touchdown. Freeman started eight games for the team, all of which came during his rookie season.”
The former Oregon Ducks superstar spent a total of three years in Denver, rushing for 1,187 yards and eight touchdowns in 46 professional games. He now heads to Carolina.
The Panthers are a mystery team heading into the 2021 season. They acquired Sam Darnold in a trade with the New York Jets earlier this year. He joins Christian McCaffrey in the backfield.
If Darnold elevates his play, the Panthers could surprise plenty of people this upcoming season.