After a highly disappointing 2022 season, the Denver Broncos started off their 2023 offseason aggressively. In fact, Denver spent a whopping $219.3 million on day one of free agency, as they moved quickly to swoop up their top targets.
Because the Broncos were so quick with all their free-agent signings, they’re unfortunately left with very little cap space. Still, there are some positions on the roster that need improvement, so Denver will likely try to sign a few more free agents this offseason. With that in mind, let’s discuss some remaining free agents that the Broncos should consider signing.
3. Connor McGovern – Center
In 2022, quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked a league-high 55 times (tied with Chicago Bears’ Justin Fields.) During early free agency, the Broncos’ main focus was improving their offensive line, and they were able to sign two of the highest-ranked free-agent offensive linemen in Mike McGlinchey and Ben Powers. While these signings undeniably improved the offensive line, Denver should still look for more talent to protect Wilson.
Free agent Connor McGovern is still available and would be a decent upgrade over current Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry.
During his three-year tenure with the New York Jets, McGovern was an above-average center, earning PFF grades of 62.2, 75.9, and 69.6. In that same span of time for the Broncos, Cushenberry performed below average, only having one decent season in 2021. Cushenberry was given PFF grades of 40.5, 64.2, and 56.2 for the past three seasons.
Numbers like that are definitely not ideal for a starting center. The Broncos could look to draft an improvement at center, or they could go with a proven veteran center in McGovern. Besides, McGovern was drafted by the Broncos in 2016, so he is already somewhat familiar with the team. Maybe that prior connection could help bring McGovern back to town.
2. Shelby Harris – Defensive Lineman
Shelby Harris was part of the massive trade package that the Broncos assembled to acquire Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks. Harris spent one season with the Seahawks before being released at the conclusion of the season. Harris was most likely released for contract reasons, not necessarily for underperforming (which he wasn’t.) Harris actually was given a pretty good PFF grade of 73.2 for the 2022 season.
Despite already signing Zach Allen during free agency, the Broncos lost their top d-lineman from 2022 in DreMont Jones. While the Allen signing certainly adds talent after Jones’ departure, the Broncos still remain concerningly thin along the defensive line, and may be forced to place their trust in young, somewhat inexperienced players like Eyioma Uwazurike and Matt Henningsen if starters go down with injuries.
Harris had his best years with the Broncos, and was a ball-batting machine along the defensive line. If the Broncos want to add a bit more depth to their defensive line, maybe they should consider bringing back Harris on a one or two-year deal. Hopefully being traded by the Broncos a year ago won’t still be a sore spot for him.
Shelby Harris bats a pass back to the #Broncos! pic.twitter.com/7T9EaujdDl
— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 18, 2020
1. Cameron Fleming – Offensive Tackle
Cameron Fleming actually spent the past two seasons with the Broncos, but the team let him walk into free agency. It is now a few weeks after free agency first started, and Fleming remains unsigned. It’s admittedly a bit surprising to see that Fleming hasn’t been signed considering he had a career year in 2022, earning a 72.6 PFF grade.
The Broncos backed up the Brinks truck to sign McGlinchey, thus locking down one of their starting tackle positions. The other tackle position currently belongs to Bolles, but he is coming off a brutal injury in 2022. On top of that, Bolles has really been up and down for the majority of his career, and has not really established himself as a trustworthy blindside protector. With the depth behind McGlinchey and Bolles consisting of only Christian DiLauro and Isaiah Prince, it would be in the Broncos’ best interest to re-sign Fleming.
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