The Denver Broncos organization has not been shy about their plans for the coming shortened offseason. They have expressed that they will be busy in free agency and that they are prepared for it as soon as the gun sounds.
Fox recently stated that running back will be a priority in the free agency period, leading many to believe that defensive tackle is also a priority. They did not draft a defensive tackle in the draft and they didn't even draft a defensive lineman until their last pick in the draft.
The Broncos need a lot of help still moving forward, but Fox may look to a few players that he used to coach not too long ago.
The Broncos want to make some strides this season, but with a very young team, the Broncos are going to need some solid veteran leadership and some new pieces brought to the table in a couple weeks.
A big bruising back is just what the John Fox led Denver Broncos need, and Jason Snelling is that type of guy. A runner who plays with a lot of passion and anger had a successful time with the Atlanta Falcons.
Snelling should come relatively cheap, and with the new rookie wage system making the rookies get paid a lot less than in years past, the Broncos will have money.
Snelling would be a nice compliment to Knowshon Moreno and he knows how to get the tough yards which has been a problem in the past.
Pat Williams was one of the oldest players in the league last year and now after not retiring he will still be the oldest defensive player in the NFL. The Broncos attempted to solidify their defensive line with a proven defensive tackle in Jamal Williams. That did not pan out.
However, Williams, even in his rising age still continues to be a solid force in the middle of the line which is what Denver has needed. Williams could come cheap and at the very least teach the younger guys how to properly play the position.
Tim Hightower is another cheap option for the Broncos. The Cardinals do not look like they will resign the 25-yar-old, but he may cost a future draft pick since he is a restricted free agent.
I think that if the Broncos do not get their main running back they want in the free agent market they may end up getting Hightower. Hightower is a tough runner who has some speed, but more importantly he does have break away speed.
A between the tackles type of back he could look good in the orange and blue.
John Fox knows what type of player Richard Marshall is, a savvy, intelligent cornerback who has been the starter for the Panthers for two years and has recorded 88 tackles in each of those seasons combining for 7 interceptions.
Opposite Champ Bailey is some unknown. Perrish Cox was serviceable on the field when Andre Goodman went down, but his legal issues are a mystery and Goodman has a knack for being hurt. Syd'Quan Thompson is not ready to start and Nate Jones I think will be cut.
Marshall would be a nice addition to the Fox makeover and could be a nice competition piece on the other side of Bailey.
A running back turned fullback with the arrival of Ray Rice. Le'Ron McClain has expressed his willingness to leave Baltimore so that he may be a feature back. A McClain addition to the Fox offense would give them a mean, bruising runner through the tackles and in short yardage situations.
A one—two punch of McClain and Knowshon Moreno could be something dangerous (an early monicker of M&M). McClain comes from a team that knows how to run the ball. I think Fox is definitely taking a hard look at this runner who can play the fullback and running back positions.
Another former Fox pupil, Charles Johnson is a defensive end that knows how to get to the quarterback. Last year, he started all 16 games for the first time and recorded an impressive 11.5 sacks.
Fox is looking for players who can get to the quarterback, cause chaos in the backfield and force turnovers. Johnson would be terrific in a rotation with Robert Ayers and opposite of Elvis Dumervil.
Regardless of price, I think the Broncos will make a serious bid for the 25—year—old. My money is on Johnson to become a Bronco next season.
Bradshaw, like many other runners on this list, is a hard runner and was more of the speed back in New York with Brandon Jacobs being the bruiser. However, Bradshaw can lay the boom just as well as any back in the league, combine that with his speed and you have a nice signing for the Broncos.
He will most likely cost a pretty penny, but they would definitely improve a bad offensive run game.
Barry Cofield has been a beast inside of the New York Giants defensive line for the last 5 years. He seems to be hitting his prime as well at the age of 27 after recording 4 sacks last season.
The Giants want to have Cofield back, but they said they will not put a big fight for the nose tackle. Fox has to have an eye on this guy as the lockout looks to be ending. He would be an immediate starter who can command the middle of a once dreadful defensive line.
A player Bronco fans would love to see in the blue and orange, Cofield has to be a top target as the free agency period creeps forward. A big pay day will be expected, but the Broncos will have to spend in order to bring in top guys.
This has to be the top defensive line free agent on the Broncos wish list, Brandon Mebane. A 26—year—old who has tremendous upside and has already shown his abilities on the field, another immediate starter on the Broncos defensive side of the ball.
Mebane does not have gaudy numbers, he recorded 31 tackles and 1 sack last year, but the stats do not tell the whole story. Mebane is constantly doubled, even tripled team, at times allowing other players to make tackles.
A huge need for Denver, I would be very surprised if Fox does not make a bid for him right out of the gate of free agency.
Now many believe that this is on here only because Fox came from Carolina and it just so happens that DeAngelo Williams is a free agent, however this is a legitimate option.
Fox said that Running Back was a main priority during the free agent period and there is no one on the market that is better than him. Williams brings the power that the Broncos lack on the offensive side of the ball and he brings the comfort of being with John Fox (that goes a long way).
A pick up of Williams would improve the Denver Broncos by leaps and bounds for the season, and help John Fox begin the run first theme that will be a staple for as long as he is head coach.
Who do you guys want to see Denver go after?
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