The Denver Broncos followed up their day one signing of D.J. Jones with a five-year, $70 million contract for Randy Gregory, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. The 60th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft after a failed drug test at the NFL Combine, Gregory received four suspensions from the league for violating the substance abuse policy, costing him 54 games from 2016-2020. The 29-year-old had a breakout season in 2021, notching 19 tackles and six sacks along with 43 pressures in 12 regular season games. He followed it up with a four tackles in the Cowboys playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Gregory’s journey through free agency to Denver is a notable one. He initially re-signed with the Cowboys on the contract he agreed to with the Broncos, only the Cowboys reportedly tried to amend the deal after it was agreed to. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Dallas wanted to protect itself “in case some stuff happened with Randy Gregory that had happened previously in his career.”
To get a better feel for what the Broncos will get with Randy Gregory I spoke with Connor Livesay, who covers the Cowboys for Blogging the Boys.
The Cowboys sent their spin out to the sources about 3 minutes ago lol https://t.co/Srvqo2R1S3— Connor Livesay (@ConnorNFLDraft) March 15, 2022
1st and 10
What does Randy Gregory bring to the Broncos? What are his strengths? Does he have any notable weaknesses fans should be aware of?
Livesay: Gregory has developed into a really nice complete DE. When he first got into the league he really just had his speed and length, but he’s built up his body to be able win with strength as well as both a rusher and run defender. He can win extremely quick off the ball, and has developed some nice inside counters to complement his speed and bend. Always near the top of the list of pass-rush win rates and advanced pass rush metrics.
Elite pass rushers in the NFL get pressure on 14% or more of their pass rush snaps. 16 guys did that in 2021. Min 275 pass rush snaps. Micah Parsons is in a class by himself. data from SISdatahub pic.twitter.com/mibKwfb64Y— Joseph Mahoney (@ndjomo76) February 18, 2022
2nd and 8
Gregory switched sides to Denver after seeming to agree to terms to the same deal with Dallas. According to Rap sheet he had an issue with protections in the contract. How do you feel about losing Gregory, and how are Cowboys fans handling the news?
Livesay: Losing Gregory really hurts. With Gregory Dallas would have a three headed pass rush monster, but now you’re back to Tank and Micah, who will still need to play a ton of snaps as an off the ball linebacker. Gregory’s threat as a rusher would have taken pressure off of DeMarcus Lawrence, and really make it tough on opposing offenses.
The Randy Gregory reversal to the #Broncos was 100-percent a matter of the #Cowboys tinkering with contract language at the last moment. Like it or not, you can’t come in with that maneuver when there’s another team on hold, just waiting for an opening.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 15, 2022
3rd and 3
One concern I have with Gregory is that he’s only had one 40+ pressure season by Sports Info Solutions’ charting and it came after Micah Parsons was drafted. Do you think he can be as productive in Denver as he was for Dallas last year?
Livesay: Absolutely. Even before Micah, Gregory received a ton of attention, and was effective in his role. It was extremely disappointing in 2020 to see DC Mike Nolan prefer Aldon Smith over Gregory, even though Randy was twice as productive as a rusher and run defender on the right side of the defensive line. Gregory paired up with Chubb will be a ton of fun too watch from afar.
Randy Gregory entered the NFL in 2015. Over that time he's notched 8 forced fumbles and 16.5 sacks to go with 101 pressures by @football_sis charting.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) March 15, 2022
He has never played more than 14 games in a season.
4th and inches
Do you like this move for the Broncos?
Livesay: I love this move for Denver. A lot of people will talk about the suspensions, but Randy has completely transformed himself over the last two years. Randy isn’t a bad guy, he battled some mental health issues early in his career, and used marijuana to cope. Now that the NFL has relaxed the punishment on substance abuse, I’d have zero issues giving him the contract they did, and I think he’ll outplay the deal in Denver’s defense.
I encourage everyone to read about Randy Gregory's journey overcoming his mental health struggles and addictions before sending that tweet.— AJ Schulte (@AJDraftScout) March 15, 2022
This 2021 Athletic piece on Randy Gregory's journey is definitely worth your time. https://t.co/G1mZHzVIhF pic.twitter.com/SLn6dJTTes— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) March 15, 2022
How would you grade the Broncos signing of Randy Gregory?
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