According to Benjamin Allbright, the Denver Broncos were reportedly nearing a deal for cornerback Bryce Callahan and now according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini they have reached a deal with the former Chicago Bears slot cornerback.
To end the reports, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Broncos signed Callahan to a three-year deal that includes $10 million fully guaranteed,
Former Bears’ CB Bryce Callahan reached agreement with the Denver Broncos on a three-year, $21 million deal that includes $10 million fully guaranteed, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2019
As you know, Callahan played four seasons with the Chicago Bears and flourished under Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell during that time and now could join them in Denver.
During his four year career in the NFL, Callahan has totaled 123 tackles, 4 sacks, 21 pass deflections, 4 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. This past season with the Bears, Callahan had a bit of a breakout year under Vic Fangio. He totaled 45 tackles, 2 sacks, 6 pass deflections, 2 Interceptions, and one defensive touchdown. He had his season cut short due to a broken foot late in the year.
Callahan is primarily a slot corner and now that he is signed by Denver he would likely fill that role as well and allow Chris Harris Jr. to play outside more. Harris himself is an excellent slot corner but he can also hold is own outside and has expressed his desire to play outside more as well so this move would allow that.
Pro Football Focus ranked Callahan as their second-best free agent cornerback heading into free agency. Here is what they had to say about the new Broncos slot cornerback.
Once an afterthought, the importance of the slot cornerback has begun to come to light in recent seasons and Callahan was one of the best in 2018. He shut down the slot week in and week out, allowing just 0.69 receiving yards per coverage snap in the slot which was the fewest among the 30 cornerbacks who played at least 200 coverage snaps. Having increased his overall grade from 62.9 in 2016 to 77.7 in 2017 to 81.4 last season, Callahan is on the rise and will likely cash in on that improved play in the coming months.
One thing to note, recently signed cornerback Kareem Jackson was third on this list meaning the Broncos signed PFF’s second and third best free agent corners in free agency.
On Bryce Callahan: If the #Broncos do sigh him, that says everything it needs to. Fangio knows his talent & coached him for 4 years. When healthy, he’s the best slot CB in the league. Plain & simple.— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) March 15, 2019
This move solidifies the Broncos secondary and gives them three very good starters to lean on in 2019. In a division the features Patrick Mahomes and Phillip Rivers, that is a requirement. It also removes cornerback as a top need for the Broncos in the 2019 NFL Draft and allows them to target other areas of need on the roster. So this positions currently include inside linebacker, nose tackle, safety, guard, tight end, and a deep threat at wide receiver.
In the end, I absolutely love this signing. The Broncos cornerback unit is once again a strength and should benefit from the presence of Vic Fangio calling the shots for them. Also, the Broncos fearsome pass rush will makes this trio’s life a bit easier next season.
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