Now that Sean Payton’s coaching staff is in place, the focus is on NFL free agency.
One of the ways to speculate on who the Denver Broncos will target are players linked to Payton and the New Orleans Saints. One thing we know about the NFL is people love familiarity, especially if they had success in those situations.
In this instance, one of the players also fills a possible need for the Broncos defense and that’s defensive end Marcus Davenport.
Highlighting Davenports’ career to date
The 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive end will enter his sixth year in the NFL this season. In other words, the prime of his career at 26 (he’ll turn 27 in September).
Davenport was a first-round pick by the Saints in the 2018 NFL Draft.
For the most part, he’s been pretty consistent, with his best season coming in 2021 when he had 39 tackles (23 solo), nine sacks and three forced fumbles in just 11 games.
Davenport for his career has 141 tackles, 21.5 sacks and seven force fumbles.
The problem is he can’t consistently stay on the field. The most games he played in his career was last season with 15. Davenport has missed 18 games with a variety of ailments, including toe, foot, elbow, shoulder and pectoral injuries.
As ESPN points out, Davenport also just had the top portion of his left pinky amputated. And he had right shoulder surgery in January. Davenport said he’s hoping to be ready by training camp and doesn’t believe the pinky will affect his performance.
That’s obviously something Payton and the Broncos new player and health performance staff will have to consider.
Why he makes sense for the Broncos
You can never have enough defensive line depth, and that’s certainly the case for the Broncos.
Add in the questions and uncertainty around Dre’Mont Jones and Davenport would be a nice addition for this defense. Davenport knows Payton and he could be a playmaker for Denver.
Even if the Broncos are able to keep Jones, Davenport should be a player Payton, George Paton and the team tries to add to the mix.
That’s especially true if Davenport can stay on the field. A lot of that will depend the contract.
Examining Davenport’s free agent market
It’s not every day that a first-round defensive end hits free agency.
So there should be a heavy market for Davenport’s services. One team that’s been thrown out is the Houston Texans given the defense that new head coach DeMeco Ryans likes to run.
But the fact Payton is the coach who drafted Davenport could be the ace up the Broncos’ sleeve.
As for the annual contract, Spotrac as Davenport in the four-year, $93 million range. That would give Davenport an annual salary of $23.2 million. Based on the fact Jones is estimated in the four-year, $68 million range, signing both might too much, but you new know. But if an extension doesn’t work out with Jones, Davenport jumps to the top of the list for a free agent target.
If the Broncos don’t sign Dre’Mont Jones, should they go after Marcus Davenport?
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