The departure of Pro Bowler Elvis Dumervil was a shock to everyone. Having accumulated 11 sacks last season and even further solidifying himself as a dominant pass rusher in the NFL, the Denver Broncos could not fix the paperwork debacle in time to keep the dominant end.
Of course to make matters even worse, the San Diego Chargers, a division rival, have recently signed free-agent Dwight Freeney to a two-year deal.
And yet as surprising and unfortunate as the situation appears to be, the Broncos may have upgraded their defensive line even further, nearly to the point where Dumervil may not even be missed.
Within days of losing Dumervil to the Baltimore Ravens, the Broncos scooped up ex-Jacksonville Jaguar Terrance Knighton to bring much-needed veteran power to the interior line. Now reunited with his former head coach Jack Del Rio, Knighton is exceptionally fast off the ball and known for his elusive pass rush, which only adds to the aggressive nature of the defense.
With a 330-pound frame, Knighton is naturally a run-stuffer who will allow the Broncos to have more rotation ability for guys like Derek Wolfe and Kevin Vickerson.
The Broncos have also added Sylvester Williams from North Carolina to add even more versatility and size to the interior.
Besides these two acquisitions, the Broncos also scooped up Shaun Phillips from the Chargers. Philips, now in his ninth season, amassed nine sacks last year and will most likely fill the void of outside pass rush.
Alongside defensive MVP Von Miller, Philips allows Del Rio to keep his aggressive 4-3 front strategy while still being able to switch players to various roles.
With veterans like Philips and Knighton, the Broncos expect to replace the production of Dumervil quickly and continue to be one of the most dominant defensive teams in the league.