As Scotty Payne noted in this morning's Horse Tracks, the Denver Broncos may not be done in free agency yet. With Eric Decker leaving for the big city, wide receiver is suddenly a position of need for the Broncos.
According to the Denver Post's Mike Klis, the Broncos "might turn their attention" to free-agent receivers Brandon LaFell and Miles Austin. A nine-year veteran, Austin was released by the Cowboys last week. Meanwhile, LaFell is a four-year veteran testing the free agency market after spending his first four seasons with the Panthers.
Three days ago, LaFell visiting the Patriots, who were reportedly hoping to get a deal done. Potentially slowing things down between LaFell and New England was the fact that Denver was showing a "huge interest" in the receiver, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. If that interest is mutual, LaFell may be primed to visit Dove Valley in the coming days.
Cooks Likes Broncos
Cooks Likes Broncos
Drafted in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft, LaFell (6'2", 210 pounds) caught 167 passes for 2,385 yards and 13 touchdowns during his time in Carolina, starting 36 games in four seasons. LaFell's rookie contract with the Panthers paid him an average of $869,600 per season, according to Spotrac.com.
Austin (6'2", 216 pounds) went undrafted in the 2006 NFL draft and signed with Dallas as a college free agent. After three years of seeing little playing time, Austin burst onto the scene in 2009, catching 81 passes for 1,320 yards and 11 scores. Austin has not been as productive in his five seasons since his breakout year, but the talent is there.
In eight seasons with the Cowboys, Austin caught 301 passes for 4,481 yards, and 34 touchdowns. After his breakout year, Austin signed a seven-year, $54 million deal with Dallas in 2010 (an average of over $7 million a season). After catching just 24 passes for 244 yards in 2013, Austin's next contract will be considerably lower (leaning more toward the veteran minimum than Decker kind of money).
It remains to be seen how much interest Denver will show in these two receivers, but it is clear that they do have an interest in the position. One option for the team is drafting a receiver (or two) to groom under Demaryius Thomas.
After impressing at the NFL's scouting combine last month, Oregon State receiver Bradin Cooks has emerged as a first round prospect. Last night, Cooks said he would "go to war" with the Broncos any day. Cooks will be among the many receivers Denver will consider in the draft in May.
Who do you think Denver should add to their receiving corps? Vote in the poll below!
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