The Denver Broncos lost one of their own free agents on Wednesday when Adam Schefter reported that defensive lineman Brodrick Bunkley signed a 5-year contract to play for the New Orleans Saints:
Broedrick Bunkley to Saints: 5 yrs, $25m with $9m fully grntd.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2012
Bunkley was a huge part of the Broncos' defensive turnaround last season and the team had been working hard to try and bring him back.
Bunkley had 43 tackles for the Broncos in 2011 and was a stalwart on the defensive line after being acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles for a draft pick in 2013. He turns 29 this season
The news comes hours after the NFL handed the Saints severe punishments for BountyGate, including the suspension of head coach Sean Payton for the year. Bunkley, in many ways, leaves a team that might be closer to a Super Bowl than the team he is going to, though the money may have been richer than the Broncos were willing to go.