Often a practice of vanity, however, it is intriguing to see what rating the Denver Broncos get from respected NFL publications on the web.
While it may not be as pointless as the NFL draft ratings, given that draft picks should at a minimum be seen through the scope of all of their rookie contracts, how a team decides to spend (or perhaps more importantly, not spending) their limited cap space, and how much value a team finds each offseason, free agency ratings can provide insight.
Some highly regarded signings will fail, while others that were penalized will become the difference in whether a team makes the playoffs or loses. Some of the smaller moves can have a big positive impact on a team, like perhaps the Broncos’ dormant acquisition of running back Mike Boone. But we won’t know until we can look back at the signings in the future.
However, the ratings are fun to read and even more rewarding when they indicate that the Broncos did a good job in free agency. Such is the case with Broncos general manager George Paton.
Running a team that operates with cap room to spare and using it to make meaningful moves this offseason, Paton decided to retain his own guys (mostly). and solidified Denver’s biggest question mark heading into the offseason. Professional soccer approach, a site as skeptical of Drew Lock as any there, couldn’t even speak ill of how the Broncos attacked free agency, giving Paton a rare Excellent grade for his offseason moves to date, while saying Kyle Fuller signed his best move.
DENVER BRONCES: Excellent
Best signing: CB Kyler Fuller
The Denver Broncos haven’t made a lot of moves this offseason, but they have been smart and specific regardless. Denver initially prioritized retaining key players on defense, putting the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons before signing him to a new long-term contract that makes him the highest-paid safety in the game. They also re-signed Shelby Harris, one of the most underrated inside defenders in the NFL. Harris is coming off the best season of his career in the PFF in terms of rushing passes, with a mark of 83.5 in that facet.
On the open market, the Broncos signed cornerback Ronald Darby to a modest contract and then reportedly took 34 minutes to reunite Kyle Fuller with his former coach Vic Fangio once the Chicago Bears released him to save on the cap. wage.
Fuller’s best season came in Chicago under Fangio in 2018, a season in which he racked up 20 combined interceptions and pass breaks and allowed a passer rating below 70.0 when attacked. With the release of AJ Bouye, that couple completely remade the corner group in the space of a few days of work.
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The Broncos still have a number of questions, but for the most part, they’re tertiary concerns. Who will be the team’s online tight end? Can Boone be the second runner? Can linebackers Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson play at a high enough level to take advantage of a great Denver defense?
And the depth on the secondary and defensive front? Will Ja’Wuan James stay healthy? And what’s going to happen to the quarterback position?
Time will tell, but given the parameters of the offseason to date, Paton is pulling it out of the park on paper. We won’t know how it plays out in practical application for some time yet, but make smart moves to fill in the gaps in the list with schematic adjustments, bring cultural leaders back to the locker room, and not jeopardize long-term financial flexibility. of the team at the same time?
Maybe free agency ratings don’t make sense, but Paton is doing a great job in his first year as general manager and you don’t need a rating to see that.
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