With the Broncos not in the dance, all is quiet in Broncos Country.
The team is changing things up a bit this year and delaying their end of season player reviews. What will they see from their big Unrestricted Free Agent tape?
Today I’ll give you my No Bull take on what these players looked like in 2019 and my thoughts playing arm-chair GM with their future as Broncos.
Chris Harris Jr.
Chris had a pretty up and down season, but to be fair to him, he also was tasked with mostly following around the opponent’s #1 receiver all year which isn’t his game historically. He’s still playing good football, but the bottom line is if he’s wanting top 10 corner money, he’s in the wrong place. I’d offer him 9-10 M per year for 3 years and he’ll likely balk and hit free agency.
Wolfe had an absolutely stellar year at DE for the Broncos. He was impactful as a pass rusher and was solid against the run. He’s still worth easily 9 M per season, but the big question mark for Wolfe is the risk of injury. While he made it through 2019, he’s had spotty history and is an older player at 29. At the end of the day, if I’m the Broncos I try to resign him though as his locker room presence is worth it and a great boon to a team on the cusp of being significant again.
Shelby is the kind of 3-4 DE that is going to demand big money on the market. He’s an effective pass rusher and has a great penchant for batting down passes. Also, the guy makes plays when it counts and that goes a long way at the negotiating table in the NFL. As much as I love Harris, his game, and the attitude he brings to the game, I don’t see him as a player that will be in the price range for Denver. Someone is going to offer him 10-13 M per season and with the emergence of Dre’Mont Jones and DeMarcus Walker finally looking like a good player, Harris is likely going to sign elsewhere.
Simmons is the man. With the stamp of “All Pro” added to his resume, he’s going to demand big money and his play this season really supports this in every way. He’s everything you want in a free safety and is among the NFL’s best as of today. The Broncos will keep him one way or the other (Franchise tag is in play), but it is going to cost them north of 13 M per year which is going to be well worth it given the youth, ability, and great attitude Simmons brings to the locker room.
McGovern isn’t the best center in the league...he’s not likely even top 10. But he is an above average NFL lineman who can play C / G at a high level and is likely going to get somewhere between 9-11 M per year. The bottom line to me is that the Broncos need stability on their line in a big way which is why they will likely resign him.
Parks played fairly well as a backup player for us. I’m not sure how much he’ll demand on the open market, but I’d lean towards letting him explore. If he’s brought back to the Broncos, it wouldn’t be on an expensive contract that would heavily impact their cap situation.
Gotsis didn’t have a good year at all, sadly. The big hole in his game is is run defense which isn’t anywhere near what you need from a 3-4 DE in the NFL. I don’t see the Broncos even trying to keep Gotsis as a backup.
Booker is JAG at running back. He’ll likely land somewhere, but the Broncos need more impact in their running back room and the depth guys should bring more to the table than just being a veteran who knows how to play.
Keep in mind when the Broncos do get to free agency that letting some of these big names go can and will translate into compensatory picks for the team. In a perfect world, the Broncos resign a few of these guys and fill the rest of the holes on the roster with the draft (signing free agents cancels out losing free agents in the compensatory pick consideration).
Hit up the comments with your top 3 free agents you want to see the Broncos bring back. I’m curious to see who makes the list for the rest of Broncos Country.
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