The Denver Broncos are in a bit of a bind having to replace one of the league's best pass-rushers, Elvis Dumervil. While Dwight Freeney may be the popular choice, there is one player who would be a better fit: DE John Abraham.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com in a tweet earlier today, the Broncos will make an effort to get Freeney:
And with Elvis Dumervil going to Baltimore, Denver figures to make a strong push for Dwight Freeney.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 24, 2013
If you ask Mike Klis of the Denver Post, he may have another idea in a recent tweet of his:
Broncos to go after John Abraham, Dwight Freeney. Abraham has the better most recent production.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 24, 2013
Should the Broncos Bring in John Abraham or Dwight Freeney
To compare the two players, you first have to ask what the Broncos would be looking to accomplish by bringing in either of the two.
The Broncos would be looking to boast a better run-stopper than they had in previous years with Dumervil. Both Freeney and Abraham would offer that variable.
Freeney has ties to Broncos QB Peyton Manning: the experience of winning a Super Bowl together and playing in a second with the Indianapolis Colts. Meanwhile, Abraham offers a hunger to win a championship, and that may tip the scales against a player that has already reached the pinnacle.
Freeney played at the linebacker position in 2012 in order to fit into Chuck Pagano's scheme, and has clearly lost a step getting to opposing quarterbacks the past couple of years.
What Abraham offers is the ability to still reach the quarterback and finish a play. Abraham recorded 35 tackles, 10 sacks and six forced fumbles while playing all 16 games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2012.
Freeney, in contrast, totaled just 12 tackles with five sacks and one forced fumble in 14 games. He may be two years Abraham's junior, but plays as if he is four years his senior.
Manning has recruited Freeney to join the Broncos, but what if the Hall of Fame quarterback is searching for the wrong fit in Jack Del Rio's scheme? It is safe to say that Manning can vouch for Freeney's work ethic, but what the Broncos need is someone who can be a dual threat against both the run, as well as in the pass rush.
Abraham has shown over the years that he is able to do it all at defensive end. His presence, along with the second-year growth of Derek Wolfe, the inside bulk of Kevin Vickerson and newly-acquired Terrance Knighton would make a daunting line.
Add to that the experience of players like LB's Von Miller and Wesley Woodyard coming off the edge, and the Broncos defense may be better than it was in 2012.This is a win-now Broncos squad that needs a pass rush to allow their secondary to operate efficiently.
This was never more evident than in the playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens when the pass rush was nonexistent and the Broncos secondary payed in the loss.
So everyone can clamor for a reunion between Manning and Freeney, but take a moment to step back and seriously dissect the situation. The Broncos should go for Abraham and just maybe they will be able to get past their first playoff game in 2014.