According to the Denver Broncos, they have re-signed key special teamer and safety P.J. Locke. Earlier in the week, it was reported that they did not tender him as a restricted free agent which made him a free agent. However, the Broncos decided to bring him back on a deal likely lesser than that $2.63 million dollar tender.
When news came out that the Broncos did not tender Locke, it was a surprise. He was a key special teamer who led the team in special team tackles and was also a versatile defensive player for the team as well. He played safety, nickel, dime, and even made an impact on the field by forcing the game-winning fumble vs. the 49ers early in the season. You need players like Locke on your roster to fill these sorts of roles and he does it rather well.
What it came down to was likely money. The Broncos did not want to pay the tender price, so they decided against it, allowed Locke to test free agency, and if things worked out, they would re-sign him at a lesser value than the tender price. Just my assumption, but it seems like what went down.
I expect Locke to fill the same sort of role next season for the Broncos. He is a key special teams player and that unit should be much improved from last year with the new special team coaches Sean Payton brought in. He will also add depth at safety and other positions in the Broncos secondary as well. With veteran Kareem Jackson a free agent, there is a chance for Locke to move up the depth chart this offseason.