The Denver Broncos were among the most active teams during the first week of free agency in the NFL. They were already Super Bowl contenders for 2014, but with big moves in free agency, they have strengthened that position.
The defensive side of the ball was the focus early in free agency.
The first piece of the puzzle was added when the Broncos signed strong safety T.J. Ward. The former Browns standout is known for playing with a fierce attitude. He’ll immediately make the Broncos defense more intimidating.
Next, the Broncos went to the open market for a cornerback. They signed arguably the best available corner at the time when Aqib Talib decided to come aboard. Like Ward, Talib is known as a physical player who can shut down an opponent.
The biggest splash they made in free agency was when they added defensive end Demarcus Ware. He’s likely a future Hall of Fame player who can get after the quarterback. Ware only had six sacks last year, but he played through most of the season with an elbow injury that slowed him down.
If healthy, Ware could be the perfect pass-rushing complement opposite of Von Miller. Ware will also be the mentor to Miller that the team missed when Elvis Dumervil moved on in free agency last year.
Finally, the Broncos went after another weapon on offense when they added Emmanuel Sanders. His speed will be a great asset for their high-powered offense. Sanders is taking over for the departed Eric Decker (Jets), and he should put up career-best numbers in 2014.
The lineup has been shuffled, but the goal remains the same.
Here’s how the depth chart is shaping up now that the first wave of free agents have been signed.