We’re wrapping up the first week of free agency and the Denver Broncos have been quite busy. The biggest losses came along their defensive line with Dre’Mont Jones signing with the Seattle Seahawks and DeShawn Williams going to the Carolina Panthers.
To offset these losses, the Broncos aggressively went after improving the offensive line and rounding out some key players at other positions.
- Guard Ben Powers
- Right tackle Mike McGlinchey
- Quarterback Jarrett Stidham
- Tight end Chris Manhertz
- Linebacker Alex Singleton
- Defensive Lineman Zach Allen
- Running back Samaje Perine
- Fullback Michael Burton
- Cornerback/Returner Tremon Smith
That’s about as active as you can be with $33 million in starting salary cap space. They used every bit of it and are also looking to trade their starting wide receivers to free up some additional cap as well... maybe.
So are they winning or losing free agency? Our friend James Dotar from SB Nation listed the Broncos as both a winner and loser in his free agency recap this week.
Winner/Loser: Denver Broncos
There was no question that Sean Payton would arrive and aim to make a splash ... but did he, really? Nobody has been more active this year than the Broncos, and if you look at what they’ve added from top to bottom it’s difficult to see how this team really got much better considering the money they laid out.
Don’t get me wrong, Mike McGlinchey and Ben Powers are two big upgrades on the offensive line — but both were significant overpays. Meanwhile losing Dre’Mont Jones, and replacing him with Zach Allen at almost the same money is a talent downgrade that really banks on Allen becoming a 10+ sack player, which is a crapshoot.
The cheaper depth moves Denver has made aren’t bad, but they all feel like lateral moves. It appears that Payton is wanting to go all-in on running the ball by signing run blockers like McGlinchey and Powers, but that doesn’t offer much help to Russell Wilson — and makes reduces his role significantly.
If that plan is correct then this team will take a step forward, but it feels like we’re still a far cry from the Broncos hanging in the AFC West.
Based on his review, I would have to disagree on Zach Allen. And if that is the basis of his “losing” then I would say that means the Broncos are actually “winning.” According to our analysis, Allen and Jones have similar pressure rates despite Jones having more sacks. Allen also graded out as the second-best run stopper behind Aaron Donald last season.
It would seem that Allen is the better overall player, but the need to generate pressure in the AFC West is vital. We’ll definitely need to see how he does with a new team and new conference.
Are the Broncos winning or losing in free agency?