The Denver Post's Cameron Wolfe interviewed Denver Broncos safety David Bruton Jr. earlier today and came away with some interesting information regarding Bruton's future. According to Wolfe, the Broncos safety is open to staying in Denver but knows it will be tough to keep everyone.
Bruton said he's willing to re-sign before free agency if the #Broncos give him close to what he's looking for. He said he has a # in mind.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) February 17, 2016
Bruton told Wolfe that he wants to be a starter in the NFL, and is willing to play for any NFL team except the New England Patriots.
The problem there is that the Broncos already have two starters in Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward. Both players played at a high level in 2015, and are unlikely to lose their starting jobs, so Bruton probably isn't finding a starting job in Denver.
So if Bruton wants to start, he will probably have to look elsewhere during Free Agency. He told Wolfe that he has heard that three teams, the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, and Miami Dolphins all have shown interest in signing him this offseason. All three teams need help at safety, and the Bears have former Broncos Head Coach John Fox leading the team, so naturally that would be a fit.
With that said, Bruton hopes to talk to the Broncos about a potential contract during the NFL Scouting Combine next week. He says that they haven't been able to talk about a contract because the Broncos have been dealing with all the Super Bowl stuff.
So what kind of contract is Bruton looking for? He told Wolfe that he has a certain amount of money in mind, and that is the contract the Arizona Cardinals gave to defensive back Justin Bethel.
Bethel signed a 3 year, $15 million extension with the Cardinals in December. He will receive $9 million in guarantees and a $3 million signing bonus. Another $1.8 million is available in incentives. That's the type of numbers Bruton says he is eyeing this offseason.
Looking at Bethel's numbers, I have a hard time seeing Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway giving Bruton that type of contract.
On the Broncos, he is nothing more than a really good third safety, and a special teams ace. I don't think Elway will pay a guy that much money to play that role. Cornerback Kayvon Webster has been playing really well on special teams and could take over that role. Also, the Broncos should be able to draft or sign a safety for probably half the price that Bruton is asking for.
With the Broncos having 26 or so Free Agents to sign this offseason, I don't see the Broncos bringing back Bruton on that type of contract.
It would be tough to lose Bruton, though. He is one of the longest-tenured Broncos on the team, and he does great things for the community. Unfortunately for Bruton and the Broncos, this is part of the business in the NFL.