Last week, Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton talked about whether or not he would be looking to sign any additional free agents in training camp. He hinted that he might, saying, “We had a meeting last night—the last personnel meeting before we get back here for training camp. We discussed areas. I don’t want to use the term ‘where we are thin,’ but here’s where we’re heavy relative to the current 90-man roster. Here’s where we might be a tick light. This might be what we’re looking for.”
That comment came to mind when I saw an article from ESPN on one offseason move each team should make before Week 1. For the Broncos, they went with a position I believe is still one that Denver should add to before the season... just to be safe.
Add a running back
The Broncos were immediately linked to Dalvin Cook following his release from the Vikings, which was not merely a byproduct of Cook being a very accomplished player; the team is also a tad thin at running back, given the lack of clarity on when Javonte Williams will be back from a major knee injury suffered last season. Even if Williams is ready at the outset of the season (no sure thing), the Broncos will likely want to be judicious with his workload. The good news for Denver is there is no shortage of available backs to potentially add right now: Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette join Cook as top options.
Javonte Williams is coming back from a very serious injury and, frankly, there is no guarantee he’ll be 100% by Week 1. In fact, there is a good chance he won’t be 100% until mid-season even. Being able to run and cut in a game isn’t the same as being 100%. That will take time.
Pro Football Focus also talked about the Broncos’ running back room when they ranked each team’s running back position. They put the Broncos running backs all the way down at 20th with the big caveat again being the unknown health of Williams heading into the season.
20. DENVER BRONCOS
The big question for the Broncos is the health of Javonte Williams, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 4 of 2022 after an impressive rookie campaign in 2021. If he is back to that level, the Broncos have a lead back who forced 63 missed tackles on 203 carries as a rookie and added another eight on 43 receptions. If he’s not fully healthy, then there’s a lot of reliance on Samaje Perine, who has seen over 100 carries just twice in his six-year career. He is coming off the second-best year of his career though, averaging 3.07 yards after contact per carry and earning a 77.2 PFF rushing grade.
I’m a big fan of Williams and I think he will eventually get back to where he needs to be, but I would prefer not to rush things. The best way to buy that time and maintain and competitive roster is to sign one of the big remaining free agents out there: Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliot, Kareem Hunt, or Leonard Fournette.
Where do you stand on this issue?
Who should the Broncos sign before Week 1?
This poll is closed