BRONCOS

With one signing down, what’s next for the Broncos in free agency?

Mar 17, 2020, 6:20 AM

The Broncos made one move in free agency on Monday. They took care of the interior offensive line by signing former Lions center/guard Graham Glasgow.

He agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $44 million. The deal includes $26 million in guaranteed money and helps the Broncos at the right guard position.

Adding Glasgow was a good move by the Broncos. It’s not necessarily a “splashy” signing, but Glasgow can step in and start right away for the Broncos, providing an upgrade over last year’s starting right guard Ron Leary. If need be, Glasgow can step in and start at center, too.

The team is not done and still has plenty of salary cap space to use up on free agents. They took care of the interior offensive line with the addition of Glasgow, but there are plenty of other positions which need help, as well.

So, what’s next for the Broncos? Let’s take a look.

***

All About D.J.

The team had a top target in Texans defensive tackle D.J. Reader. The first day of legal tampering came and went without the Broncos adding the talented defensive lineman. Good thing is, nobody else was able to sign him away either.

The Broncos are working diligently to get something done with Reader and we could see something get finalized on Tuesday. Reader is more than just a run-stuffer in the middle of the line. He’s got the ability to move outside to defensive end and create pressure on the quarterback. Reader is exactly the type of defensive lineman the Broncos need in the Vic Fangio defense.

I’ve reached out to people around the Texans franchise and they tell me Reader is great in the locker room. He’s known as a leader and a team-first guy who is willing to do whatever it takes to make his team better.

Reader would be a “splashy” move for the Broncos and could be signed, sealed and delivered to the team in the near future.

***

Missed the Mark

Some players the Broncos may have had interest in but were unable to sign in this free agency frenzy. While they didn’t get players like quarterback Case Keenum (Browns) or inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (Raiders) on Monday, the needs at those positions still remain.

The Broncos could turn their attention to quarterbacks like Brandon Allen or Chase Daniel. Allen did not receive a restricted free agent tender by the Broncos and is free to sign with any team out there. However, the Broncos could bring him back as a backup to Drew Lock if the price was right. I can’t imagine a ton of interest in Allen, so the price should be very affordable.

Daniel is a seasoned backup who has only started a small handful of games during his pro career. He’s been around coach Fangio before during their time working together with the Bears. Daniel would give the Broncos plenty of veteran experience behind Lock in 2020 and Daniel would be no threat whatsoever to the starting job.

Cory Littleton and De’Vondre Campbell might be options at the inside linebacker position. We might see Littleton get a deal that pays him $13-14 million per year. He’s one of the best in the league at his position and can cover tight ends – something the Broncos desperately need. Adding Littleton would count as a “splashy” move for the Broncos.

Campbell has played around 900 snaps each of the last three seasons and is good in coverage. He’s known as an athletic linebacker and has a fierce competitive spirit. He is not going to cost as much as Littleton, and Campbell should be seen as a value player.

***

Crazy Market

The Broncos did not want to enter the crazy cornerback market this offseason and that’s why they made the trade for A.J. Bouye. We saw just how crazy the cornerback market was on Monday with big-money deals for Byron Jones (Dolphins) and James Bradberry (Giants).

Jones agreed to terms on a five-year contract worth $82.5 million and the deal includes $57 million in guaranteed money. Bradberry agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth $45 million. The deal includes $32 million in guaranteed money.

Denver still needs another cornerback even though they traded for Bouye. That’s why they’ll be looking at value cornerbacks available on the open market.

The Falcons released veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant and he could be of interest to the Broncos. Trufant only played in nine games last year before going down with a forearm injury but he did snare a career-high four interceptions before getting hurt. A first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Trufant may not quite be the same player he used to be but he should still attract plenty of attention on the open market and with this crazy market he could find quite the lucrative deal.

Former Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara is still out there on the open market. He’s played under coach Fangio and has the length and high football intelligence to be a solid starter on the outside. While others are getting huge money, Amukamara might be a more affordable option.

***

Release the Hounds

Some players have been released before the start or right at the start of the legal tampering period. These players might be on the Broncos radar as they look to make a fresh start with a new team.

The Titans released long-time starting tight end Delanie Walker. He is an incredibly athletic player with plenty of starting experience. Walker would be a great resource for second-year pro Noah Fant to learn from this season.

The Falcons released blocking tight end Luke Stocker on Monday. Stocker plays H-back in addition to working as a blocker, and he’s got experience playing for Broncos tight end coach Wade Harman. Before joining the Broncos last year, Harman was the Falcons tight end coach.

The Ravens released offensive guard James Hurst. He has been a key reserve for the Ravens in recent years and he even started two games last year. Hurst has experience at both guard and tackle, so versatility is not a problem. The main problem is a four-game PED suspension for Hurst that was handed down in February.

The Colts released veteran defensive tackle Margus Hunt. He had a good 2018 season, but did not record a single quarterback hit in 2019. Hunt is huge, measuring in at 6-foot-8 and 295 pounds. His market is going to be soft, so the Broncos could take a chance on him with a small investment.

The Eagles did not tender running back Corey Clement. He was a key reserve and special teams player for the Eagles a couple of seasons ago after coming into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin. At 220 pounds, Clement can be relied on as a runner or receiver out of the backfield.

Broncos

Jaleel McLaughlin...

Will Petersen

Jaleel McLaughlin hears the outside noise the Broncos will be bad

The best answer from the Jaleel McLaughlin in the 104.3 The Fan studio came when asked if he hears the outside noise about the Broncos

4 hours ago

David Shaw...

Will Petersen

Report: Broncos hire former Stanford coach David Shaw on staff

9NEWS and 104.3 The Fan insider Mike Klis broke the story, saying David Shaw joins the Broncos as a senior personnel executive

11 hours ago

Jim Harbaugh...

Andrew Mason

What if … the Broncos had hired Jim Harbaugh in 2023?

How would the Broncos have turned out differently if they had been able to hire Jim Harbaugh as their head coach in 2023?

1 day ago

Birmingham Stallions defensive end Dondrea Tillman...

Jake Shapiro

Report: Broncos sign standout defender from UFL champs

One of the best defensive players from spring football over the last two years Dondrea Tillman has signed with the Denver Broncos

1 day ago

Chiefs Super Bowl Patrick Mahomes...

Andrew Mason

Would you rather … have a Broncos Super Bowl win if it came with more Chiefs titles … or none for either?

The Super Bowl ring is the thing ... but would you rather see a Broncos title with four more for the Chiefs, or have both win none at all?

2 days ago

Denver Broncos running back Clinton Portis gains yards against the Arizona Cardinals...

Jake Shapiro

Former Bronco Clinton Portis ran for 228 yards in a game while hungover

Clinton Portis may be remembered more for being traded than his actual career in Denver, but his two Broncos years were special

3 days ago

With one signing down, what’s next for the Broncos in free agency?