The inside linebacker is an important piece to Vic Fangio’s defenses. In San Francisco, he had Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman in the middle of his defense and in Chicago he had the 8th overall pick Roquan Smith and former Bronco Danny Trevathan in the middle of that defense. Both were highly ranked units that featured the inside linebacker and I would imagine he wants to do the same in Denver.
C.J. Mosley is our No. 2 free agent linebacker this offseason.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 6, 2019
For the full video on top free agent LBs: https://t.co/pjo1xZDgDr pic.twitter.com/ncO4Oj2Oxj
Currently, the Broncos have Brandon Marshall, Todd Davis, and Josey Jewell at that position. Marshall figures to be among the Broncos cap causalities in the coming weeks and Davis and Jewell do not have the athleticism Fangio’s linebackers have had in the past. So I would imagine Fangio would be looking to add talent and athleticism to this unit this offseason. One potential free agent who would quickly fix that is Baltimore Ravens linebacker, C.J. Mosley.
Age: 26 years old
Experience: 5 years
Mosley played his college ball at the University of Alabama and turned into one of the nations top linebackers during that span. During his four-year career at Alabama, Mosley totaled 317 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, 3 defensive touchdowns, 17 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble.
His play at Alabama made him one of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft and a prospect linked to the Broncos. However, Baltimore Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome nabbed himself another Alabama product and selected Mosley with the 17th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Since then, Mosley has become one of the better inside linebackers in the NFL.
During Mosley’s five seasons in Baltimore, he has started all but three games during the span and being nothing less than a consistent force for their defense. He also totaled 597 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 43 tackles for a loss, 9 interception, 6 forced fumbles, 35 pass deflections, and 32 quarterback hits.
Now, Mosley is entering free agency as one of the better defensive free agents this offseason and likely near the top of the Broncos wish list.
Why this makes sense:
It’s simple really. Vic Fangio’s defenses are at their best when he has elite talents at inside linebacker. Currently, the Broncos have an average at best group that lacks athleticism. Mosley instantly gives them a three-down linebacker who would give them at least one high-end talent at the position.
Mosley also brings consistency with him. He has only missed a total of 3 games through five NFL seasons and has started every game he has played in. He has also topped 100 tackles four out of five seasons in the NFL. The only season he had less than 100 tackles was in 2016 when he totaled 92 tackles. Mosley however, missed two games that season.
This is exactly what the Broncos need in the middle of their defense. Consistency, a high-end talent, and a leader.
According to Pro Football Focus, Mosley is their second best linebacker on the free agent market and their 27th best free agent available this offseason.
When the Baltimore Ravens drafted Mosley, they envisioned him slotting in as Ray Lewis’ replacement. While Mosley didn’t quite match Lewis’ 80.0-plus grades in his first four seasons, he still became a consistent leader of the Ravens’ vaunted defense. He’s placed top-35 in run-stop percentage in each of his four years, including a career-best 10.6 percent in 2018. Mosley dispelled talk that he was a liability in coverage after posting career-lows in yards allowed (408), yards per reception (9.3) and yards after the catch (190). If he doesn’t get a big contract in Baltimore, another team will certainly be willing to shell out.
Mosley probably won’t come cheap if he does indeed hit the free agent market, but if he does, the Broncos need to do what it takes to land the star linebacker.
Why it doesn’t make sense:
The only reason this doesn’t make sense if it the Ravens either Franchise Tag or re-sign Mosley before he hits the free agent market.
John Harbaugh on C.J. Mosley: "There are limitations with the money, but C.J. wants to be back and we want him back. So, I think that’s a really good formula for a player coming back. I’m just not even going to entertain the possibility right now that that wouldn’t happen."— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) January 25, 2019
According to Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, Mosley wants to be back and the Ravens want him back. However, they apparently have limitations on money which could limit them in locking up Mosley.
I feel like this is something us Broncos fans need to really watch in the coming weeks. If Mosley gets taken off the market, I would imagine that would erase one of, if not the top name on their free-agent wish list.
If Mosley hits the free agent market, the Broncos need to get him. Simple as that. I don’t need to say anything else.
However, I have serious doubts that the Ravens in their first offseason away from Ozzie Newsome running the show would let their star inside linebacker walk free.
Do you want the Broncos to sign linebacker C.J. Mosley?
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Yes, do it regardless of the price
Yes, but if the price is reasonable