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Broncos free agency target: David Onyemata

Onyemata could be a nice free agent pick-up to add depth and talent to the Broncos’ defensive line.

Miami Dolphins v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

For the Denver Broncos, the line of scrimmage should be the target. On both sides of the ball.

Granted, the defensive line isn’t as big of a need as the offensive line, but Denver needs to add depth and talent.

One of the possible targets for George Paton, Sean Payton and the Broncos in NFL free agency is defensive tackle David Onyemata.

Highlighting Onyemata’s career to date

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle was taken in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. So he’s another free agent with ties to Payton. The one thing we know about the NFL is familiarity is a big deal.

In his seven seasons with the Saints, he’s been a consistent disrupter along the defensive line. Last season for New Orleans, Onyemata had 36 tackles (18 solo), five sacks and one pass defended. The five sacks were the second-most in his NFL career.

Onyemata has also been able to stay on the field, save for a six-game suspension in 2021 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

As he wrote on Instagram in June 2021: “While I was certainly surprised and disappointed with this news, I am responsible for what I put in my body. As I have never knowingly taken anything that could cause a positive test, we are currently in the process of testing the supplements I was taking at the time of the test. Regardless, I am committed to being more aware of any medication and dietary supplements that may contain substances banned by the NFL.”

In the story announcing the suspension, ESPN wrote that Onyemata “has developed into one of the Saints’ best defensive players.”

Onyemata would bring the same to the Broncos' defense.

Why he makes sense for the Broncos

You can never have enough defensive linemen, especially talented ones.

And Onyemata fits that bill for Denver.

Onyemata also has experience with Payton and what he expects, so that would help with the other players in the locker room.

Did I mention Onyemata could really help the Broncos' defense? Consistent disrupters on the defensive front will make this defense even better.

As is the key in free agency, it comes down to price.

Examining Onyemata’s free agent market

According to Sportrac, Onyemata falls in the three-year, $29 million deal range. That would put him at $9.6 million and in the Quinton Jefferson, Fletcher Cox, Shelby Harris range.

Based on those comparables, you could see Onyemata having a decent market. And that should include Denver.

The key for Paton, Payton and the Broncos is if Onyemata is worth it. Based on his consistent performance and the fact you can’t have enough defensive linemen, it might make sense for Denver to explore this move when free agency starts.


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