Allen Park — One way or another, the Detroit Lions were going to add a piece of the Los Angeles Rams' backfield this offseason.
After whiffing on an attempt to land restricted free agent Malcolm Brown last month, the Lions have reached an agreement on a one-year deal with C.J. Anderson, according to multiple reports.
Undrafted out of California in 2013, the 5-foot-8, 225-pound Anderson caught on with the Denver Broncos, where he played the first five years of his career.
During his time in Denver, Anderson started 36 games and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. He broke 1,000 yards his final season with the team, going for 1,007 yards on 245 carries in 2017.
Anderson signed with the Carolina Panthers to start last season, but was released in November. After a brief, one-week stint in Oakland, he latched on with the Rams for the final two games of the regular season.
Anderson saved his best for the postseason, rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns in a divisional round win over the Cowboys.
In Detroit, Anderson joins a backfield headed by Kerryon Johnson. The stable of backs also includes Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick.
Zenner is coming off his best season, returning from two broken bones in his back, he averaged 4.8 yards per carry down the stretch, when Johnson was injured.
"Zach is great, an unbelievable guy, and works hard," Lions coach Matt Patricia said at last week's league meetings. "Whatever he makes his role is what his role is going to be. I’m excited to see that. He’s coming off a year with a lot of confidence. I think it was really great for him to have the end of the year he did where it was a situation where sometimes it takes a little bit of the light bulb to go one and a little bit of confidence and you see players step into this new role of ability and he’s certainly one of those guys we’re excited about."