The Denver Broncos are starting to slow down on the rush to get free agent DE Dwight Freeney signed after they lost former Bronco DE Elvis Dumervil. The Broncos were linked to Freeney and looked to be the front runner to receive his services, but after the Broncos recently found out that Freeney is demanding a deal that will pay him an annual salary of at least $6 million.
He’s also in no rush to get a deal done. I wouldn’t be surprised is Freeney drags this out until the beginning of training camp or maybe even further.
Freeney hasn’t performed well enough for the Broncos to consider paying him $6 million a season and he is also 33 years old now. DE Cliff Avril who was the top young free agent pass rusher on the market signed with the Seattle Seahawks for an annual salary that averages $6.5 million a season. Freeney at his age should be in the ballpark of $3 or $4 million per season.
The Broncos also lost over $4 million when they released DE Elvis Dumervil so there is no way that the Broncos will pay more than about $4.5 million to pick up a free agent defensive end.
This demand by Freeney to get an annual salary of $6 million has the Broncos waiting to see if Freeney will come down on his demands before it is too late and the Broncos look elsewhere such as the 2013 NFL draft in April. Freeney seems to be willing to wait out teams until someone reaches out to him with the money he is wanting.
If I were the Broncos I would offer Freeney somewhere around $4 million average salary for the next two years. Then I would wait until he takes the offer. The max I would pay would be $4.5 million. In the meantime draft a defensive end in the early rounds that could be a future stud at the position.
If Freeney signs he would then be a mentor to the rookie defensive end and if he doesn’t sign then the rookie better get ready to start because the Broncos would be looking at DE Robert Ayers as a starter and they have already been down that road before and it didn’t produce much.
Only time will tell if the Broncos made the right move by letting Dumervil slip away.