Six former Denver Broncos still languish in the free agent market
The Denver Broncos have had an offseason whirlwind. From acquiring nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson via trade to signing nose tackle DJ Jones and point carrier Randy Gregory, the Broncos have been highly productive in tapping into the veteran market of the NFL.
The Broncos are primarily focused on preparations for the NFL Draft, but as evidenced by new signing safety Kareem Jackson late last week, if general manager George Paton sees an opportunity to bolster the roster with a signing smart and friendly it’ I’ll take it.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, however, and the Broncos are constrained by the salary cap. above the ceiling Denver projects has $14.577 million in cap space, and there is still one 2022 draft class left to sign, of which the team currently holds eight selections.
If Paton was okay with looking at familiar old players, like Jackson, who could be signed relatively cheaply, who is still languishing in the free agent market? There are quite a few former Broncos, actually.
Let’s dive into it.
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Philip Lindsay | RB
The Broncos are “always looking” to add depth at running back and Lindsay would make sense as it wouldn’t cost a lot and his experience outside the Mile High bubble may have humbled him somewhat. By that, I mean that while Lindsay certainly views himself as a capable starter, the NFL doesn’t see him that way.
His value as a free agent is proportional to how the league views him: as a third down, split carry, kind of a change of pace. If Paton agreed, he could re-sign Lindsay and pair him with Javonte Williams and Mike Boone to devastating effect.
During his three years in Denver, Lindsay produced back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing campaigns and earned a Pro Bowl nod. We’re not talking about minced liver here.
Emanuel Sander | WR
It’s been a wild ride for Sanders since the Broncos traded him in the 2019 season. Since then, he’s played with a different team every year after Denver: San Francisco, New Orleans and, most recently, Buffalo.
However, Sanders is 35 and appeared to exhaust his welcome to Denver towards the end of his tenure. He’d be a handy vet to have in a pinch for Wilson, but he’s a ship that’s probably sailed.
Fumagalli Troy | AND
Denver’s 2018 fifth-round pick, Fumagalli spent 2021 in New England following the Broncos’ departure. Paton is still looking for tight end depth, as evidenced by Kyle Rudolph’s recent workout.
Bringing back a guy like Fumagalli, who has never really been able to make an impact as a receiver or a blocker, is unlikely. But he would be a body with a bit of pedigree in Denver.
Matt Paradise | VS
Paradis provided Denver Pro Bowl-caliber play at center and helped win Super Bowl 50. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his Denver career and when he signed with Carolina, that trend continued.
Paradis suffered a torn ACL in Week 9 last season but is expected to be recovered in time to play the 2022 campaign. The Broncos have Lloyd Cushenberry III and Graham Glasgow as center options, but Paradis could be re-signed to a relatively cheap price and would bring veteran insurance into the room.
malik jackson | DL
Speaking of Super Bowl 50, another hero from that game might make sense for Denver. Jackson is still a free agent and started 16 games for Cleveland last year.
Jackson has produced few sacks, but he’s a 30-year-old bad side experienced vet who could bolster D-line depth in Denver.
Chris Harris, Jr | BC
The Broncos let Bryce Callahan walk and signed ex-Niner K’Waun Williams, but the team’s cornerback depth is still dangerously thin, especially when it comes to the slot’s niche position. Harris slowed down, but as a team-friendly depth option, he might make sense.
However, the end of his tenure in Denver was acrimonious and while that dynamic is primarily with former general manager John Elway, there may be too much water under the Harris Bridge to justify what remains of his once prodigious talent. .
2022 Free Agents Still Available
The Broncos still have several original free agents still on the open market. While Paton is unlikely to re-sign any of these names after languishing for so long, we can’t rule it out. Here’s the best from that list:
- Alexander Johnson | LB (Denver chose Josey Jewell instead)
- Bryce Callahan | CB (K’Waun Williams instead)
- Eric Saubert | TE (Looking at exterior options)
- Bobby Massie | OT (Choose Tom Compton and Billy Turner instead)
- Kenny Young | LB (See Jewell)
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