When it comes to the offensive side of the ball, what options do the Broncos have to upgrade via the NFL free-agent pool? We break it down, minus quarterback.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve gone over the positions (other than quarterback) that the Denver Broncos will most need to address and what free agency looks like. The Broncos, however, have pending free agents at other positions, whether they’re unrestricted or restricted.
That may raise questions as to whether or not the Broncos should explore free agency there. Today, I’ll go over the offense and figure out what makes sense for the Broncos when it comes to free agency.
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Melvin Gordon III is an unrestricted free agent and has indicated he would like to stay with the Broncos. However, if the Broncos intend to get younger, they will probably allow Gordon to depart.
If the Broncos do look at free agency, they need to focus on a younger player who is good at pass catching and pass protection. This would give them a back who can form a good 1A-1B pairing with Javonte Williams.
Ronald Jones II might fit the bill. Though he never lived up to expectations in his four seasons with the Buccaneers, he’ll be just 25 years old and, given his underwhelming performance thus far, should be inexpensive.
Otherwise, it may better for the Broncos to look at the draft to find the running back to pair with Williams. Looking at bigger names in free agency isn’t the best idea.
The rumors surrounding Aaron Rodgers have led to rumors surrounding Davante Adams. Will he insist on sticking with Rodgers? And if the Broncos did acquire Rodgers, does that mean Adams follows?
The one thing Broncos fans have to keep in mind with Adams — or any free agent wide receiver, for that matter — is that the Broncos have already extended Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton. Unless one of them is traded, another veteran receiver would mean fewer resources to address other positions.
There could be an argument for adding a cheaper receiver in free agency and another Packers receiver, Marques Valdes-Scantling, could be worth a look.
However, I would expect the Broncos to only look at free agent WRs if they have to trade away one of their top three to get a veteran quarterback. Otherwise, they are likely to forgo free agency, though they might draft some depth.
There will be several tight ends who are expected to cash in during free agency, whether it’s with their current teams or elsewhere.
Dalton Schultz, Mike Gesicki, Tyler Conklin, and Evan Engram are among the players who may be sought after by other teams. However, one or more could push for a salary of more than $10M APY, which would mean less money to commit to other positions.
If the Broncos are looking at free agency for tight ends, they are better off looking for a blocking tight end. Re-signing Eric Saubert to a one-year deal would be fine, but the Broncos could look at other options.
If Noah Fant or Albert Okwuegbunam is included in a trade package for a veteran QB, the Broncos may be better off drafting a tight end. Even if they aren’t, a draft pick would be preferable to an expensive tight end signed in free agency.
Offensive Line (Other than RT)
Free agency usually has plenty of options for the offensive line. However, the market has gotten more expensive in recent seasons and that trend is likely to continue.
Among left tackles, Orlando Brown is likely getting franchised, but he’ll be in line for a big extension. The same could be true of Terron Armstead and Duane Brown if a team is desperate for help.
The guard market could see several players in line for big contracts, from Alex Cappa to Connor Williams. Centers such as Ryan Jansen and Bradley Bozeman could be in line for the same.
It’s better for the Broncos to avoid free agency here. They’ve already renegotiated Graham Glasgow’s contract to reduce his salary and he can play either guard or center. The Broncos should be fine with Garett Bolles at left tackle for another season.
In our final installment, we’ll look at players on the defensive side.
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