Free-Agent Contracts Broncos Must Pursue After Preseason

Alex BallentineSeptember 7, 2022

Free-Agent Contracts Broncos Must Pursue After Preseason

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    Kingsley Keke would provide much-needed depth on the interior of the Broncos' defense. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

    With Russell Wilson joining the Denver Broncos in 2022, the team should be an attractive option for free agents looking to chase a ring.

    At least that's what Wilson's hope is. The quarterback recently spoke to media about his vision for the Broncos during his tenure, and it involves bringing in plenty of talent.

    "I think that we want to make this a destination location. I think it's one of those things where we have an amazing tradition of an amazing football team," the quarterback said.

    While the major free agents have already signed with teams, there are still some players available on the market who could help a team hoping to make a playoff push. Here are three options that make sense for the Broncos given what the roster looks like right now.

CB Joe Haden

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    AP Photo/Matt Durisko

    The Broncos have solid or promising starters at almost every spot on both sides of the ball, but to reach their full potential, they have to develop some depth. That's especially true when it comes to their cornerback room.

    Patrick Surtain II is coming off a promising rookie season in which he racked up 14 passes defended and four interceptions. With a full season to adjust to the NFL and round out his game, it's safe to expect even bigger things in Year 2.

    Ronald Darby is a fine second outside corner. He's a Super Bowl champion who allowed just 54.3 percent of the targets thrown his way to get completed.

    However, Darby only played in 11 games last season due to a hamstring injury at the beginning of the season and a shoulder injury by the time the season ended. And therein lies the problem.

    Joe Haden is the most proven corner still available, and he would give the Broncos a good fallback plan in case of injury. The 33-year-old isn't what he used to be, but he still held quarterbacks to a 60 percent completion percentage when targeted last season.

S Landon Collins

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    Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Broncos will turn to Ejiro Evero as their defensive coordinator this season. While the scheme that he's installing this season is reportedly similar to the one the team ran with Vic Fangio, there are sure to be some tweaks.

    Comparing the system that Fangio ran against the one the Rams ran with Evero on staff, the use of dime personnel is something that stands out. According to Sports Info Solutions, the Rams were in dime more than every team but two in the NFL.

    Conversely, the Broncos were 12th in the three-safety look.

    If Evero wants get more defensive backs on the field, it's going to be interesting to see who emerges as the third safety. Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons are a great duo, but Caden Sterns is the best option right now.

    The 2021 fifth-round pick played in 15 games last season, with two interceptions and two sacks. However, bringing in Landon Collins would provide more depth and experience in the secondary.

    Collins will struggle if asked to play deep in coverage, but he could thrive in a linebacker/safety hybrid role. The three-time Pro Bowler had a brutal stretch in Washington, but they haven't necessarily been a franchise known for getting the best out of their players recently.

    At this point, he's a low-cost option who could give the team added flexibility.

DL Kingsley Keke

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    The Broncos only carried five defensive linemen on their initial 53-man roster, so it's definitely an area where they are an injury away from having to add someone.

    The team would be wise to do that now rather than be forced to bring in whoever is available at the time or promote McTelvin Agim from the practice squad.

    Agim has played 17 games over the last two seasons for the Broncos. Kinglsey Keke was a contributing player and eight-game starter on a team that won 13 games last season in Green Bay.

    The 25-year-old did not make the final roster for the Arizona Cardinals but would be worth a shot at this stage. He has experience playing in a 3-4 base and generates some pass-rush at 6'3", 288 pounds.

    He has 6.5 sacks over the last two seasons in Green and Gold. While he wouldn't be taking a job from either Dre'Mont Jones or D.J. Jones, he would be a good rotational player who could start if either of them gets hurt.


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