Vic Fangio’s fingerprints are all over this trade, as the Bears tried to sign Bouye when Fangio was in Chicago. It’s a solid start to Denver’s offseason, but it is really just the beginning.
On the MHR Radio Podcast, Ian St. Clair and I sat down with Cecil Lammey of 104.3 The Fan to discuss the post-combine world, potential moves in free agency, and potential targets in the draft. With the football gods wanting us to have news to discuss, Elway and Fangio went out and made a move to jumpstart the offseason.
The trade for Bouye might have taken the Broncos out of the Byron Jones market, but it also allows for Denver to focus on other free agents that could help rebuild the franchise.
First, Prince Amukamara has been on the radar for the Broncos since he became a free agent. He has played for Fangio before, and would likely welcome an opportunity to join him in Denver. If Chris Harris, Jr. is really not a part of Elway’s plans moving forward, this might be a good way to continue to strengthen the secondary.
As important as the secondary is, there are other positions that need addressing. Cecil talked about the interior defensive line being a big need. Shelby Harris is likely out, which means Denver might focus on retaining Derek Wolfe on a team-friendly deal.
Outside of a returning Wolfe, Scotty wrote about D.J. Reader of the Texans being a potential target for Denver. Ian brought up Akeem Hicks. His connection to Fangio is obvious, but it could be the thing that helps bring him to the Broncos. If he becomes a cap casualty in Chicago, Denver might be the most logical landing spot.
Hicks isn’t the only player with an obvious Denver connection that could find his way to the Broncos. Calais Campbell was very close to signing with Denver before choosing the Jaguars and no state income tax. The need for push upfront makes Campbell an obvious target, and potentially the best fit for Fangio’s defense.
Another name that is out there as a possibility at linebacker is Joe Schobert. The Browns have allowed him to walk in free agency, and if Denver wants to add depth, he could be a name to keep an eye on.
On the offensive side of the ball there are a few names that make sense. Ian has been jumping on the table for Joe Thuney. He could be an excellent addition on the interior offensive line, paired with Dalton Risner, and whoever ends up being the Broncos center.
There may also be some low end running backs that might be of note, but the sleeper name that Cecil is paying attention to is Rashard Higgins. While he may not be at the front of anyone’s mind right now, Cecil made the comparison to Emmanuel Sanders and what he was with Pittsburgh before coming to Denver.
Bottom line, there are several directions John Elway and Vic Fangio can go in free agency. As Cecil said on the podcast, there won’t be any bargain shopping for the Broncos. John Elway has money, and he wants to spend it. Expect Denver to have some shiny new toys in 2020.