Denver Broncos Add Several NFL Free Agents at Key Positions of Need
Denver Broncos NFL Free Agency
The Denver Broncos made several big splashes during the 2013 NFL free agency period and it appears they may be looking to add another player or two if they can get all the money lined up and sorted out. The Broncos have added several players to many key positions of need, and seem to be putting everything in for the next year or two in order to perhaps add a couple of Super Bowls to the franchise history books.
The Broncos won the AFC West last season, but fell short in the AFC divisional round to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The Broncos were a good enough team to win a Super Bowl last season, but still had a few positions that were not very deep. With the additions that the Broncos have made and the draft coming up in April, Denver should be even more solid this season and should have a better chance to win a Super Bowl.
Recently, the Broncos lost Elvis Dumervil after some contract negotiations and some missed deadlines, but in the end, his departure could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
The Broncos are now weak and not very deep at the defensive end position and will need to grab another veteran free agent at that position. The Broncos have spoken with both Dwight Freeney and John Abraham, and either would definitely help out a bad situation.
I just hope the Broncos grab one of them and I would prefer Abraham, who is the better run defender, but both are above average pass rushers. It may be smart to also draft an end as Abraham and Freeney are well into their 30’s and may not have many great seasons left.
Here is a look at who the Broncos have picked up so far and how they will benefit the team in 2013.
DT Terrance Knighton
Ex- Jacksonville Jaguars DT Terrance Knighton will be reunited with coach Jack Del Rio, who drafted him in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Del Rio is now the Broncos' defensive coordinator and Denver signed Knighton to a two-year deal.
Knighton is a massavie run stopper at 6-foot-3 and 330 pounds and has the ability to put a rush on the passer as well. The Broncos will definitely be better against the run with Knighton than they were a year ago.
DT Kevin Vickerson
Broncos DT Kevin Vickerson has signed back with the team after a contract year during which he recorded 40 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.
Vickerson is another big defensive tackle at 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds. The combination of Knighton and Vickerson will be a solid duo against the run and will also help with a pass rush at times.
LB Stewart Bradley
Stewart Bradley played the last two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007. He has produced a 100-plus tackle season for the Eagles, but seems to have to learn a new scheme or position every year or so.
The Broncos have now signed Bradley and plan for him to battle for the starting middle linebacker spot with Nate Irving, Joe Mays and Steven Johnson. The Broncos would be smart to address this position early in the NFL draft as well.
DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was a Philadelphia Eagle for the last two seasons and last year he performed pretty well. He helped against the run as he piled up 51 tackles and was great in pass coverage with three interceptions and 17 passes defended.
The Broncos will either use him on the opposite side of the field of Champ Bailey and move Chris Harris to the nickel package or they will leave it the same and use Cromartie in the nickel. The Broncos feel Cromartie is still talented enough to be a No. 1 corner in the NFL.
OG Louis Vasquez
Louis Vasquez signed with the Broncos after leaving their division rivals, the San Diego Chargers, after four seasons. Vasquez is now 25-years old and was ranked as the 13th guard in the league by overall productivity.
The Broncos must be worried that guard Chris Kuper will not return to 100 percent from multiple injuries over the last few seasons.
Protecting Peyton Manning and creating running lanes are very important and that is exactly what Vasquez did for the Chargers.
OT Ryan Clady
The Broncos slapped the franchise tag on Ryan Clady so he will be playing in Denver for one more season for sure, but Denver better make it the top priority to keep him there much longer.
Clady is one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL and should be treated as such. Protecting the blind side of Manning is a very serious job and Clady can handle the pressure.
WR Wes Welker
Prized free agent Wes Welker is a Bronco now for two years and $12 million, which gives the team a very talented and experienced slot receiver that it was lacking. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are great quality outside receivers, but they lack that quickness and burst needed to play at a high level in the slot.
Manning will love having Welker to go along with Thomas and Decker. They all have great qualities and will be an asset to one other. Thomas and Decker will continue to be the big play guys on the outside while Welker will be very dependable underneath and should help to open the passing game up even more in 2013.
This season will definitely be exciting on offense and the defense seems to be shaping up as well.
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