Free agency begins in less than a week and not too long after that it’s drafting time. All of the mock drafts that have come out are ridiculous; and will continue to be ridiculous until we get through the first wave or two of free agency. Teams will fill needs, and then they will draft the rest of their needs and wants in the draft. With a plethora of holes for the Broncos to fill and around $37 million available in cap space, there are certainly options available. Let’s take a look at potential options on the free agent market.
SS Adrian Amos: Amos is expected to have a reasonably large market as he is only 25 and already one of the top safeties in the NFL. He was second in the league in yards/reception and was a pivotal piece to a secondary that gave up an average of a 67 passer rating last year. Denver is expected to be making a push for him and hopefully having his former secondary coach, Ed Donatell, and defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, on the new staff will be a big draw for him as he already knows the system. After releasing Darian Stewart as a cap casualty, the defense really could use a strong safety to play next to up and coming star Justin Simmons. They do have several players in house that could fill the role with Su’a Cravens and Dymonte Thomas, but Amos would be a significant upgrade over them.
Potential Contract Value (Annually): $8 million (per Spotrac)
CB Bryce Callahan: Another Chicago Bear free agent that knows the Fangio-Donatell system is on the market. Callahan is quickly becoming one of the best slot corners in the NFL, which is becoming increasingly critical in today’s game. Top corner Chris Harris has been asking for more playing time on the outside, and Callahan makes for an ideal replacement in the slot. In the big picture, the secondary as a whole is an area needing muchmimprovement. There’s a ton of unproven talent and not a lot of depth in a division that now has Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen and several others that are among the top receivers in the league. Callahan would be a huge signing for this team, but no doubt will not be the only move they make at corner either in free agency or in the draft.
Potential Contract Value (Annually): $6.3 million (per Spotrac)
OT Ja’Wuan James: It’s no secret that the offensive tackle position has been a weakness for years now. Lacking stability, longevity, and a long-term answer. The theme this year has to be getting younger. Callahan, Amos, and James all 26 and younger. Over the past 3 seasons, he has posted a 97.6 rating in pass blocking according to Pro Football Focus which is incredible. He’s among the best tackles available on the market and can continue to grow even more under offensive line coaches Mike Munchak and Chris Kuper. While he does have an injury history, the need is too big, and his floor is too high to skip on a player that automatically makes the offense better, even if it means paying top dollar.
Potential Contract Value (Annually): $6.8 million (per Spotrac)
TE Jesse James: There’s talent in the tight end room with Jake Butt and unknown Troy Fumagalli, but both of them have a big injury history and are unproven. James provides a well-rounded game. He can block and catch. He knows the Munchak blocking scheme and fits the build that offensive coordinator Rick Scangarello typically uses. It’s not a super deep tight end class, and James has some experience that can help in working with the younger guys currently on the roster, and potentially any draft picks that may come through.
Potential Contract Value (Annually): $5.9 million (per Spotrac)
MLB Kwon Alexander: Travis Kelce and Hunter Henry are both in the division and game wreaking type players. For years, covering tight ends has been a weakness, and the team hasn’t had a linebacker that can cover tight ends since Danny Trevathan and the team desperately needs one. Personally, I love Devin White, but after a very strong combine performance and an already impressive looking skillset, it’s looking more and more like he won’t be on the board when the 10th pick rolls around. Alexander provides the skill that the team desperately needs which is pass coverage. In 2015-16 he had 11 pass breakups, 3 interceptions and 0 touchdowns allowed in coverage in 2017, and an ability to rush the passer. He can do just about anything, but he just needs to put it together and most importantly, stay healthy.
Potential Contract Value(Annually): $10.2 million (per Spotrac)
John Elway is believed to be primed for a spending spree given the team’s performance and cap space, and there are a bunch of players that are available on the market that will make this team better and hopefully with the right coaching, playoff contenders once again.