The Patriots traded RB Laurence Maroney to the Broncos on Tuesday. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that they received a fourth-round pick in 2011 in return for Maroney and a sixth-rounder.
Maroney was inactive in the Patriots' season opener against the Bengals with a nagging thigh injury. Trade talks swirled in the preseason when Maroney was not getting carries with the first-team offense. A five-year veteran out of Minnesota, Maroney led the Patriots with 757 yards rushing and nine touchdowns in 2009.
The Broncos wanted depth at running back behind starter Knowshon Moreno. Moreno started Week One but only recently returned to 100 percent after a right hamstring injury suffered in training camp. Backup RB Correll Buckhalter returned for the first time in the Broncos' preseason finale after battling a neck injury. The Broncos' third back, LenDale White, tore his Achilles tendon and is out for the season.
The way we see it
Maroney had fallen deep down the Patriots' RB depth chart, paving the way for veteran Fred Taylor to start. Taylor ran well for 71 yards and 14 carries in Week One. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who got a majority of the RB workload in the preseason, played Maroney's role as the big back in the season opener. The 215-pounder ran for 22 yards on five carries. The trade was a surprise move by the Pats, considering Maroney was their top back in 2009, but when you consider how little he played this preseason and the number of quality backs the Pats have, it makes sense. With all the injuries to their backfield this preseason, the Broncos wanted more insurance behind Moreno, and they get an experienced power back in Maroney to help spell their starter.