Thanks to the Denver Broncos coaching search, we’re getting a very late start on profiling some key free agents ahead of the new league year. Scheme has a lot to do with who makes sense as a FA and who doesn’t.
Two players I think will play a big role in George Paton’s search is looking at their two starting inside linebackers. He should certainly bring at least one of the two back, so we’ll kick things off with Alexander Johnson here.
Weight: 255 pounds
Age: 30 years old
Experience: 5 seasons
Why it makes sense
He plays with plenty of passion for the game and he certainly isn’t a backup-type linebacker. Johnson has the ability to start in the NFL and finding NFL starter level talent isn’t always an easy task at every position. Despite only playing six games last season, PFF still graded him out well. He was coming off a bit of a down year on the PFF grade side of things, so he was trending upwards when he went down with a season-ending injury.
Why it doesn’t make sense
With a new defensive coaching staff, it might make sense for the Broncos to let Johnson test free agency. His age and a modified defensive scheme could make Johnson an expendable player for Denver in 2022.
Also, despite PFF grading, Johnson struggles in the six games he played. There were times when he was out of position and got burned early in the season. I should note that the few games before his injury, however, he was playing really well. It’ll be tough to lose Johnson, but now might be the time to find a player to fit the new defensive configuration.
Denver needs to upgrade at the inside linebacker position and I think the more logical resigning is likely Josey Jewell. Johnson is a bit older now and while he has been a solid contributor, when watching the film from earlier in the season before his injury it felt like his position could use an upgrade in 2022.
What do you think?
Should the Broncos try to resign Alexander Johnson?
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