Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman has been loosely involved in trade rumors throughout the summer, but with final cuts looming, it now sounds as if he could truly be on the move.

Writing on the Wall

Per reports, the Broncos are actively shopping Hillman, who has become expendable thanks to excellent backfield depth.

C.J. Anderson returns as the team’s starter again this year, while rookie rusher Devontae Booker could factor in with a big role. The team has also yet to make a decision on fellow backups, Juwan Thompson and Kapri Bibbs, one of which would likely make the final cuts ahead of Hillman, should he be traded.

Of that group, however, Hillman has the most experience and also happens to possess the most upside. With Hillman no longer in Denver’s plans, the team is hoping to land a trade in order to get something of value back in return, rather than flat out release the running back.

Despite leading the Broncos in rushing yardage a year ago, the versatile back looks to be on his way out of town. Should a trade come to fruition, the odds are good that one of the following five teams could pull the trigger:

New England Patriots

It’s admittedly tough to envision the Broncos helping out a rival – or trading Hillman anywhere inside the AFC – but the Pats should certainly express some interest. Dion Lewis is on the shelf to start the year and the team doesn’t have much proven rushing talent beyond LeGarrett Blount. They could use a versatile, explosive back like Hillman, who could take on a big role or be used in a situational capacity.

Indianapolis Colts

The same goes here, as the Colts have an aging Frank Gore leading the way in their offensive backfield, but have little to get excited about after that. Josh Ferguson was supposed to be a tantalizing talent, but he hasn’t lived up to expectations to this point.

Hillman could serve as a nice change of pace to the slower Gore, and eventually could even supplant him should he get worn down like he tends to late in the year.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles could make a little more sense, as they’re outside of the AFC and could use another body in their offensive backfield.

Philly still likes Darren Sproles and seems to even be high on Kenjon Barner, but starter Ryan Mathews has been deemed by many to be a poor fit in rookie head coach Doug Pederson’s system. There is also the case that Sproles is aging and either of these main backs could easily go down with an injury.

Hillman would give Pederson another versatile option to turn to, which is something he loved doing with multiple backs in a run-heavy offense last year in Kansas City. Acquiring Hillman could mean ditching one of the other backs the Eagles already like, but it could be worth it.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins are far worse off than the Eagles, as they still don’t seem completely trusting of second-year rusher Matt Jones. That’s so much the case that undrafted rookie Rob Kelley may vie for a small role early in 2016.

If the Redskins really don’t trust Jones, they should consider looking elsewhere for extra help at running back. Hillman is more experience than both of their top rushers and could be useful in a variety of roles on offense.

San Francisco 49ers

Chip Kelly loves gadget backs and he also loves offensive weapons that can be used in a number of ways. Hillman’s versatility and explosiveness out of the backfield have to be highly tempting, especially since the Niners don’t have much to get excited about beyond starter, Carlos Hyde.

San Francisco seems to be high on Hyde, but if Mike Davis is their next best back, they could quickly be in trouble. Taking a look at adding a change of pace back like Hillman could be a suggested idea.

Ultimately, a trade involving Ronnie Hillman just doesn’t seem that likely. Every other team has to be pretty aware of the fact that Denver has no use for Hillman, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets cut. When that happens, the Patriots and Colts could end up being the top leaders for his services. Hillman will want to win wherever he goes next, but he’ll also want some cash and to vie for a solid role. New England could ultimately be his best bet.

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