Broncos bring back one of their non-tendered restricted free agents
Mar 16, 2023, 4:39 PM
(Photo by Andrew Mason / DenverSports.com)
The Broncos did not want P.J. Locke back at the restricted-free-agent tender price of $2.627 million. But that didn’t mean they didn’t want him around.
So, on Thursday, they re-signed the four-year veteran safety and core special teamer. Locke is the second free agent brought back by the Broncos in this cycle. They agreed to terms with ILB Alex Singleton Monday.
Locke played 111 defensive snaps for the Broncos last year, mostly as a dime backer. Opposing quarterbacks threw at him 11 times, and he allowed 7 completions for 44 yards, per the data compiled by SportRadar.com. It’s a small sample size, but he permitted a mere 71.8 passer rating when targeted last season.
However, his highest value is as a core special-teamer. He played 341 special-teams snaps last season, the second-highest figure on the team. Only backup ILB Justin Strnad got more special-teams work last year.
That, of course, is significant because of the emphasis on special-teams work among a slew of players signed by the Broncos this week. FB Mike Burton, RB Samaje Perine, TE Chris Manhertz and CB/KR Tremon Smith all project to be core special-teamers. Singleton will also likely have a sizable role in that phase.
So, while Locke will factor into defensive depth, it’s special teams that could keep him around. And it’s a reason why the Broncos brought him back.