NFL News & Analysis

2017 Free Agency Preview: Denver Broncos

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Todd Davis #51 of the Denver Broncos looks on during the game against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field At Mile High on December 18, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 16-3. (Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images)

[Editor’s note: This preview was originally published on Feb. 28, 2017, and updated on March 6 to reflect changes in the market do to franchise tags, re-signings, cuts, etc.]

What you need to know

The Broncos have more than enough cap room to make a “splash” signing, but the question on everyone’s mind is whether that comes at the quarterback position. It’s going to be difficult to get back to the playoffs if that position doesn’t improve from its 2016 form.

Salary cap room

$42,105,799 (10th in NFL; as of 3/6/2017)

Biggest needs

  • Right tackle
  • Defensive tackle
  • Tight end
  • Quarterback

Notable free agents

  • DeMarcus Ware, Edge, 77.4 overall grade in 2016
  • Todd Davis, LB, 76.0
  • Sylvester Williams, DI, 43.5

Must re-sign

Todd Davis, LB, 76.0 overall grade in 2016

Losing Davis would turn the second linebacker position into a revolving door for the Broncos after losing Danny Trevathan a season ago. It’s not a premium position, but they won’t have to pay a premium price to get Davis back.

Dream splash

Ricky Wagner, T, Baltimore Ravens, 84.5

The right tackle was a complete nightmare in 2016 after the Broncos tried to get a bargain signing Chiefs right tackle Donald Stephenson. It backfired, as Stephenson would finish as the lowest-graded tackle in the NFL. Wagner has multiple seasons of top-level play and would easily shore up the position in Denver.

Top 2017 free agency prospects

Marshall Newhouse, T, New York Giants, 69.4

The free agency market for tackles in incredibly thin. After Ricky Wagner and Andrew Whitworth, there may not be a capable starter in the bunch. Even someone like Newhouse who’s been a career backup-level player could be an upgrade though from the worst right tackle in the league.

Brandon Williams, DI, Baltimore Ravens, 75.9

The biggest difference between the 2015 and 2016 Broncos defenses was the interior of their defensive line. Stopping the run was an afterthought for Denver on their Super Bowl run, but last year teams routinely moved the ball with ease on the ground. Williams has been one of the top nose tackles in the league for the past three seasons.

Matt Barkley, QB, Chicago Bears, 73.8

Barkley is an interesting name to watch this offseason. Once heralded as a possible No. 1 overall pick, a shoulder injury dropped him significantly in the minds of many. That zip seemed to be back last season in Chicago though as he had a handful of impressive performances down the stretch.

Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 69.0 on 15 snaps

The Broncos simply need to throw some more darts at the quarterback position and see what sticks. Glennon was once a somewhat promising rookie who got tossed aside with the allure of Jameis Winston as the No. 1 overall pick. He could easily be an improvement from Trevor Siemian.

2017 Free Agency Rankings
Top 50 free agents
Every 2017 free agent ranked by 2016 overall grade
10 free agents who can make an immediate impact
10 veteran free agents worth a one-year contract
10 sleeper free agents who could bring surprise upside
10 splash free-agent signings we’d like to see
Quarterback rankings
Running back rankings
Wide receiver rankings
Tight end rankings
Offensive linemen rankings
Edge defender rankings
Interior defender rankings
Cornerback rankings
Safety rankings
Linebacker rankings

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